Browsing Category

Travel

Travel

Wanderlust Dreams: Byron Bay, Australia

March 14, 2017
byron bay

We’ve noticed that our very own community is pretty darned great at planning the perfect vacay (at least that’s how it looks on Instagram!), so we decided to turn your already amazing adventures into a series for all to see. Wanderlust. The german word for having the lust to wander sums up our everyday desires and inner dialogue. So follow along as we profile some amazing journeys. First up? Our very own co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Amri Kibbler. Bon voyage!

byron bay

Name: Amri Kibbler

Destination: Byron Bay, Australia

Trip Duration: 3 weeks

Travel Companions: Jason, Mari (5) and River (1)

 

How did you decide upon your destination?  

My husband, Jason is from Australia so we make the pilgrimage every year to see his family. It’s become our special place for our family to connect, since we both work long hours. It’s not a bad part of the deal to escape New York winter for the warm Australian summer! We always rent a house and pretty well try to live like locals, hanging at the beach and BBQ as much as we can.

What was your most memorable moment from this trip?

I was lucky enough to share some special moments with my kids as well as with the husband this trip. He and I actually managed to get in a lot of alone time towards the end of this trip and had some pretty epic dates, thanks to an incredible baby sitter we found that my kids fell in love with.

Where is your favorite place to go sans the littles?

We went to Newrybar, a tiny town which has about 20 houses and a world class restaurant that forages it’s local fare, plus one shop that could rival any cool New York home store, Newrybar Merchants. Once we’ve had our fill of food and shopping, we like to stop at Killen Falls to hike down a very steep path into a “secret swimming hole” with the sun streaming through a waterfall. It’s pretty heavenly.

byron bay

And where do you like to hang with the littles?

My older daughter Mari, and I spent a day fairy hunting in Brunswick Heads. We visited the Brunswick Picture House, an adorable restored cinema with a side garden that feels like the perfect place for fairies to hide, in fact, we actually found a ceramic fairy hiding in the landscaping. The cinema was recently restored and hosts great kids events like magic shows and live bubble shows. The Brunswick river is crystal clear and only about a foot deep on one side, so it the perfect swimming spot with small kids. You can rent little boats and paddle around after having a picnic. There are playgrounds dotted along the shore so this makes for a super easy entertaining destination with kids.

Did you notice any style trends on the locals?

Style is all “beach to dinner” wear and has a very relaxed surf chic feel. People have authentically tousled beach hair (courtesy of the ocean!) and no one is trying too hard. Shoes are pretty well optional and people buy local since things can be very expensive to import. The focus is on comfort and ease and staying cool in the heat. The locals are so gorgeous and they just naturally look like sun-kissed models in easy flowy pieces.

Is there a local delicacy or something we must try?

A highlight for me was a restaurant called, Harvest in Newrybar. They had a special menu testing night where all ingredients were “foraged” from the surrounding rainforest, and they were testing out new dishes like wild spinach picked from the beach and yes, kangaroo. Everything was amazing!

Australia knows how to do super cute, healthy spots to grab a bite, but I also ate my weight in fish and chips during the trip.

byron bay

What are your 3 “must have” travel items for you? The kids?

For me: LoveShackFancy dresses , a gorgeous scarf for me to double as a blanket for the kids, and a hat.

For the kids: Sunblock! Crayons, coloring books and rashguards.

Do you travel with a set itinerary or are you more of a “go with the flow” traveler?

I’m a go with the flow traveler in my romantic head, but then I end up frustrated that we didn’t “do everything” so now I make a calendar and plan out the things we don’t want to miss.

There are so many options for car seat/no car seat, stroller/no stroller etc. How did you get your kids through the airport and flight? What worked for you?

My husband was a photo assistant and traveled the world in charge of 100’s of heavy cases, so we kind of have it made when we’re with him. His ability to maneuver 5 giant suitcases with ease is no joke! We rent car seats with our cars and baby gear in the houses we rent.

byron bay

What are your top picks for…

Shopping: Byron and the surrounding towns each have their own personality and great shopping spots. My favorites in each are…

Byron: I love Ahoy Trader and Pop & Scott for home and gifts. Yoli & Otis is great for minimal organic kids items and Tiny People is super well curated.

Newrybar: Newrybar Merchants has an incredible array of home, beauty and kids items.

Bangalow: There is one alley full of incredible cute shops centered around Woods Cafe (sister to Folk, see below).

Brunswick Heads: Clem’s Cargo vintage home is a must.

Food: Harvest, The Roadhouse, The Farm, The Mez Club, Top Shop, Folk. With kids? The Treehouse.

byron bay

Sights: Beach, beach, beach. The beaches are breathtaking with crystal clear water and killer surf. Some faves are Watagos and The Pass (check out the surf cam!). The lighthouse has sweeping views that are not to miss.

Stay: The Byron, The Atlantic are both great. We always love to rent a house when traveling with kids in Australia through Stayz.

Kid-approved must-do: Farm camp at The Farm where kids grow herbs and try out simple recipes and commune with the animals. Three Blue Ducks restaurant there is a must for breakfast and some nights they have live music at the farm and the kids can run around and play. They also have an incredible farm store and floral shop on site.

What is the one thing we absolutely must do on this trip?

The local markets have incredible shopping for natural beauty, dresses, dream catchers, finds from Bali and tarot card readers. Look for signs around town to find out when they are on.

byron bay

What’s next on your travel wish list?

I’d love to head to Morocco and source some gorgeous rugs.

Anything else you want to share with us about the trip?

Don’t forget to bring lots of sunblock. The rays in Australia are no joke and I recommend a hat plus sunblock at all times! Setting up a sitter before hand can make things easier and be sure to set aside half days to sneak off with your honey.

My favorite evening dinner is a bbq on Wategos beach. The view is better than any restaurant, and you’ll see a sunset you’ll remember forever. The kids can run free on the beach while you hang out under a tree and enjoy a cold beer. We pick up some local veggies and sausages from the butcher, which makes for a really perfect evening. The public beaches, facilities and bbqs in Australia are pristine. The country takes a lot of pride in keeping things clean so bring your kids shower things and get them all soaped up in the outdoor shower, before slipping them in clean pjs. They will fall asleep on the way home and you’ll have an easy night on your hands!

Do you have any must-have places to visit in Byron Bay? Let us know! Up next… Wanderlust: Portugal.

Amri is wearing LoveShackFancy // Mari is wearing Tutu Du Monde & Bobo Choses

Photos of Amri and Mari by Raegan Glazner

Parenting, Travel

5 Things I Learned When I Sold Almost Everything And Took My Family On A World Tour

August 30, 2016
Courtney Adamo
Courtney Adamo and her family have lived our dream of traveling the world nonstop for a year. They sold most of their belongings from their home in the UK and never looked back. This past year, Courtney, her husband and their four beautiful children have traveled to countries like Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Sri Lanka and did a euro-trip this summer, hitting up Italy, France, and Portugal. How Is this mama capable of funding this trip you ask? She is the co-founder of Babyccino and is able to work remotely. 

The most surprising things I’ve learned along the way:

  1. How little we need to be happy

We have each spent a year living out of a small suitcase, wearing the same few outfits on rotation, sleeping in rented beds (not always nice ones) and keeping only the essential personal possessions. Still, not one of us has missed the things we left behind. The kids have not asked for their toys, their bikes or anything more than the few things they fit into their little backpacks. Instead, they’ve had a year full of imaginative games, new friends and time spent enjoying the company of their siblings. It wasn’t easy to part with all the things we thought we needed, but it was very liberating once we did.

Courtney Adamo

  1. There’s such a thing as too much of a good thing

Family time was a huge motivating factor in taking this journey. What could be better than 24/7 with your loved ones? We were all really looking forward to spending so much time together and getting to know each other on a deeper level. I didn’t anticipate that there could possibly be too much time.

Apart from 20 minutes of yoga on rare mornings (or on the beach while the kids were playing), I have hardly had any time to myself. We have done everything together as a family — from the time we wake up until the time we go to bed – without the breaks that school, work or babysitters normally provide. The kids would probably say they found it difficult at times too. It’s not easy, even for a three year-old, to spend every waking second with five other people. But we’re all so happy we did it.

Courtney Adamo

  1. Homeschooling is hard work, but very rewarding!

Michael and I both thought teaching our children would be relatively straightforward and easy — enjoyable even! We equipped ourselves with the right curriculum books and the necessary supplies, and looked forward to teaching concepts one by one. How little we knew! The first month was turbulent as we learned to teach and the kids warmed to the idea of learning from their parents. Our eldest, Easton, responded well to being taught by his dad, but Quin and Ivy, both great students in the classroom, had a much more difficult time. We underestimated the challenge of teaching three students in three different year groups and different abilities at the same time. I think we did everything wrong before we got it right, but we got there eventually and it has been extremely rewarding to watch them learn and progress. I would even say that their progress has been more noticeable than any other year in traditional school!

Courtney Adamo

  1. Social media is a wonderful tool for travelers!

I could just as easily write a paragraph about the things I don’t like about Instagram, but when it came to our travels this year, I was so grateful for that little app. We made wonderful friends and met so many interesting people thanks to it. Instagram connected my family to a world of like-minded families and individuals – people who reached out to us to offer tips, to invite us for dinner at their house or to meet for a picnic in the park. It changed the way we connected to each country and the things we did there. Easton remarked last week, ‘I have so many friends now, all over the world.’ We think that’s pretty cool.

Courtney Adamo

  1. It’s easy to land back on your feet

When we made the decision to take the year off and travel the world, we had to make some immediate compromises. We sold our newly renovated home, our car and lots of our stuff. We took our children out of a school we loved, and Michael left his job with no promise of return. Naturally, we worried about what would be here when we returned. City life moves quickly — would we be forgotten or passed by? The truth is, not much changes in one year. Most friends remarked, ‘gosh, has a year gone already?!’ Indeed everything we left behind was available upon our return. Michael was approached for wonderful work opportunities and the kids could have easily slotted back into school. Though we’ve made a decision to settle somewhere new, re-entry was reassuringly smooth. Other travelers hoping to do a trip like this needn’t worry.

Courtney Adamo

 

P.S. ShopUp by Babyccino kids is having an event September 18th & 19th. Come shop the 40 different booths, while your kids enjoy a plethora of activities and lets not forget all of the delicious food vendors! Find out more about the ShopUp event  here.  

Courtney Adamo

Contributors, Summer, Travel

The US Road Trip: 7 Instagram Mamas Tell Us Where To Go & Why

August 17, 2016
Road Trip

The U.S. highway system was developed 1950s, and with that came a generation of baby boomers who would grow up fantasizing about cross-country road trips with their families. Back then, the allure of Route 66 was real. 

Inspired by a previous generation that took the time to explore the U.S. via roadways, and after experiencing the luxury of the 2017 Audi Q7 (we’re talking Apple CarPlay and WiFi hotspots) first hand, the ladies over here at heymama caught road trip fever. Summer is almost over, but it’s not too late to fit in a family trip! You can totally make a spontaneous vacation happen by packing your bags and piling in the car.  

But seriously, why go through the hassle of TSA when you can hop in your car and hit the road with your littles?! Not sure where to go? No worries, heymama has done the work for you! Here’s a rundown of road-trips every family should make on a moment’s notice — as told by traveling mamas on Instagram.

 

1- Tupper Lake, NY

Road Trip

“The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY is one part walk in the treetops, one part nature museum and a whole lot of parts of Adirondack geared family fun! You can complete the entire Center in a few short hours, or take your time and spend the entire day (or two, because your ticket is actually good for 2 consecutive days!). Be sure to visit Otter Falls during one of the Otter feedings for an adorable and educational show on the centers unofficial mascot or take a walk on the wild side and complete the Wild Walk, complete with suspension bridges, an eagles nest with an amazing view of the High Peaks and a giant spider web suspended in air that the whole family will love to crawl on! The Wild Center is around 5.5 hours from both NYC and Boston, and 2.5hrs from Montreal, so you could always add it as a stop on your way to Canada ;)” – Elisa Rispoli

(Adult tickets $20, Children’s tickets $13, ages 4 & under are free. www.wildcenter.org)

@live.and.let.wander

www.liveandletwander.com

2- La Pine, Oregon

Road Trip

“We spent the day in La Pine, Oregon, a 4hr drive from Portland. We went on a great 30 minute hike around Lava Butte with some stunning views. It was only $2 a person to take a bus to the top, walk the rim of the volcano, enjoy the 360 degree panoramic views and take the bus back. There is a great little museum at the bottom as well. We then took the kids to South Twin Lake in La Pine to kayak. It’s perfect for little ones as the water is calm and not crowded at all. The boys paddled around the lake for several hours. We then headed to Panini’s Pizzeria in the Sunriver Resort area. The kids enjoyed personal kid size pizzas. Outside in the shopping area were large jumpers and a climbing wall along with a small train and miniature golf. It was a great spot to burn off excess energy and run around. Overall, everything was in close enough proximity that day turned out great.” – Erin

@ourlivelytribe

www.ourlivelytribe.com

3- Vail, Colorado

Road Trip

“Only a 2.5hr drive from Denver, Vail, Colorado is the perfect location for a summer getaway for our family. We love the quaint atmosphere and fresh air that a mountain town has to offer so we try to get to Vail at least once a year. From exciting alpine coasters and slides, bike rides alongside the gorgeous Gore Creek, to the most darling Children’s Fountain and play area in Vail Village (located next to Fuzziwig’s Candy Shop), Vail has something to offer for the entire family. When we aren’t busy exploring the outdoors, we love to eat! Our favorite kid-friendly restaurants include George’s Cafe, Blue Moose Pizza, and Moe’s Original BBQ. Oh and the flowers are seriously swoon worthy! Winter, our eight-month old daughter, certainly loved them!” – Terra Larock

@loveandlarock

www.loveandlarock.com

4- The Berkshires, Massachusetts 

Road Trip

“It’s been fun to hit the same open roads that my family would road trip every summer as kids through the northeastern US. Now as parents to two little ones, about once a year we forgo the busy airports in favor of the drive to Longmeadow, MA to visit my 96 year old grandmother. On the way we always stop in The Berkshires, which is around a 3hr drive from NYC – one of our favorite little towns is Stockbridge, which features prominently in the paintings of Norman Rockwell – be sure to stop by the beautiful museum featuring a full career of works. Main street still remains unchanged and we always stay at The Red Lion Inn, an elegant Victorian inn full of chintz and charm – very family friendly. They serve some mean blueberry pancakes in the original dining room, china, silver and all. If you go in the summer, be sure to take a dip in some of the many swimming holes in the area and have ice cream at the little general store. By far our favorite thing to do is take in a matinee performance at Tanglewood – a beautiful former estate in the Berkshires that has been the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since the 1930’s. We get lawn tickets and order a gourmet picnic basket. Sometimes the boys fall asleep to the sounds of the orchestral music – it’s quite simply a heavenly way to spend an afternoon outside (arrive a little early to snag a shady spot under a tree). Another fun activity is a visit to the Berkshire Railway museum for a real live Thomas the Tank Engine experience.” – Amanda Blakely

@amandablakely

www.petitsgenoux.com

5- Northern Vermont 

Road Trip

“We have been on the road for almost 8 months, so I mean it when I say that Vermont is a perfect family road trip destination.  Roughly 3.5 hours from Boston and 6 from NYC, northern Vermont has something for everyone, year round.  Perhaps Vermont’s greatest asset, aside from her astounding beauty, is the fresh and local culture.  Finding restaurants that source locally, farm visits, and pick your own berries are easy finds.  Our perfect summer day would start with breakfast at Main Restaurant and Bakery in Jeffersonville, then a dip at Jeff Falls on the Brewster River, followed by some wine/cider tasting at Boyden Valley Winery (while the kids play on the swing set outside) in Cambridge.  If we had an early start, we’d then go pick some berries at River Berry Farm (type depends on seasonal timing), then top it all off with dinner at Angelina’s back in Jeffersonville.  If you’re wanting more action, Burlington is a short drive away where you can find all the conveniences of city life with the same bucolic charm you’ve grown to love.  Start your day at beautiful Shelburne Farms, eating farm fresh everything while the kiddos learn all about sustainable farming and cheese making, then head downtown to stroll Church Street for a local brew.  After you can all explore at ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, an interactive science focused kids museum, then finish with dinner at Bluebird BBQ (and if you time it right, kids eat free on Sundays!). And hey!, you’re now only an hour and a half from Montreal, so you may as well pack the passports and road trip north.” – Lauren Davis

@everyanywhere

 

6- The Grand Canyon

Road Trip

“This summer vacation we planned a road trip throughout our favorite spots of the West Coast. We flew in from Italy to San Francisco, rented a car and drove through the sunny beaches of California and visited some of the national parks . There is no better feeling than having your holiday “on the road”. You can experience a different adventure everyday by exploring national parks, walking along beautiful trails or renting bicycles. Our favorite kid-friendly location was The Grand Canyon. You have the option of riding down on the back of a mule or going through the lower Canyon by helicopter. Then let your children enjoy a special day attending Junior Ranger program (www.nps.gov/grca/learn/kidsyouth/beajuniorranger.htm). In American National Parks they can get Junior ranger badge after performing activities with local rangers (ex bird watching, walking distance) . “Explore, learn, and protect!” It’s the special program slogan!!” – Elisa Di Rienzo
@ilfiordicappero
www.ilfiordicappero.ifood.it
7- Estes Park, Colorado
Road Trip
“Estes Park, Colorado is a quaint mountain town seated at the doorstep of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and centrally located about 1.5hr drive from Denver, making it the perfect family road trip destination!  From campsites, cabins, condos, or hotels, you’ll find accommodations to fit every budget.  Our favorite place to stay in Estes Park is the YMCA of the Rockies, a year round “family camp” resort, or the beautiful, historic Stanley Hotel, the inspiration for Stephen King’s “The Shining”.  RMNP is a short 15-minute drive from town, where you can marvel at sweeping mountain vistas from well-paved and easily-navigated roads, spot some of the thousands of elk that call RMNP home, and stretch your legs at one of many picnic areas.  RMNP also boasts several kid-friendly hikes:  Bear Lake, Sprague Lake, and Lily Lake trails are a few popular nature walks for families, with flat, wide, paved trails that even accommodate strollers.  In the summer and early fall, drive to the 11,700 foot summit of Trail Ridge Road, the highest paved road in the country and where snow banks are often present year round, for a summer family snowball fight! When you’ve had your fill of fun in Rocky Mountain National Park, you can extend your stay with a myriad of activities in town:  Spend an afternoon shopping along picturesque Elkhorn Avenue, enjoy lunch and take a ghost tour (if you dare) at the historic Stanley Hotel, or blow off steam playing miniature golf and riding go-carts.  Check out Estes Park’s own brewery, or grab an elk burger at the local’s favorite The Grubsteak.  Take an adventurous Jeep Tour, or just rest your feet in the stream that runs through town.  You’ll have so much fun getting dirty and enjoying the alpine air, you won’t hear a peep from the kids the whole ride home! ” – Christine Austin
 @oneintrepidlife
www.oneintrepidlife.com
Brand Spotlight, Travel

I’M AUDI! Beacause Sometimes You Need A Weekend Without Your Kids

August 1, 2016
heymamaXaudi-41-4

We were beyond excited to get behind the wheel of the 2017 Audi Q7 for our weekend in the Hamptons, and Audi made sure we arrived for our #StrongLikeAMama event with SELF at The Surf Lodge, in style. The event focused on teaching successful mamas how to better incorporate fitness into their lives, but don’t worry – we made sure to take the time to relax and enjoy ourselves. The Audi Q7 is the perfect car for working mamas on the run and seamlessly combines work and play; there was plenty of room for our amazing STATE Bag swag bags filled with goodies, our luggage, and of course, the heymama team.

Audi Q7 interior roadtrip hamptons

Audi Q7 roadtrip hamptons lipstick

Audi Q7 roadtrip hamptons house

To be honest, we typically dread the long drive out east from the City, but the Q7 was so comfortable and high-tech that we didn’t want to give the car back! I’m not sure about you, but checking the navigation on my phone and trying to keep eyes on the road is always a difficult task when it comes to road trips, however, the Audi has an easy to use navigation system that pops up right in your line of view so not only does it direct you with audio, but you can clearly see where you should go next! It even includes all-around cameras and sensors to let you know when you may be a little too close to another car or object. Also, we can’t forget how amazing it was to have the Wi-Fi hotspot on board for our work trip – it let us take care of business and free up more time for the beach when we arrived.

 

Audi Q7 roadtrip hamptons Botanica Bazaar

Audi Q7 roadtrip hamptons gas station

Since we got so much done in the car, we stopped to check out heymama Leilani Bishop’s new shop, Botanica Bazaar, and grab a coffee in town before heading to our house in East Hampton. Katya was wearing the most gorgeous Suno dress from Rent The Runway. I headed into the house with my mint-colored Steamline Luggage and got settled in with the team, before heading over to the Crow’s Nest to enjoy a sunset dinner of crab pasta and oysters. 

Audi Q7 roadtrip hamptons
Audi Q7 roadtrip hamptons

Audi Q7 roadtrip hamptons farmers market

Audi Q7 roadtrip hamptons farmers market

Saturday I got up early to visit the farmer’s market and pick up some fresh fruit and pastries for our hardworking team who spent the day stuffing swag bags and getting details set for the event.  Katya and I had been dying to hit the beach, so we grabbed a couple of beach chairs and headed over to catch some much needed R&R. Since this was a fitness weekend for us we felt that we needed to fit in some outdoor exercise and threw on our sneakers and work out gear to hits the trails for a quick hike on the stunning trails near the beach.  Raising our heart rates made us ravenous and thirsty so we decided we needed lobster rolls (and rosé!!). I was feeling pretty silly even before the rosé so you should check out our escapades on Snapchat (@heymamaco). A weekend away from the kids can do that to you, and we weren’t holding back, but it was early to bed for us to be on top of our game for Sunday morning.
Audi Q7 roadtrip hamptons Beach

Audi Q7 roadtrip hamptons Beach

Audi Q7 roadtrip hamptons hike outdoor voices

Audi Q7 roadtrip hamptons lobster roll

The event was a huge hit and you can see all the great images and read about it soon on the site!  We cruised in our Audis to snap images of a few of our rockstar mamas Athena Calderone, Jill Foley, and Helen Ficalora (coming soon to heymama.co) before saying goodbye to the Hamptons, tucking our luggage in the Audi and heading home. The drive home flew by as we enjoyed tunes streaming from Katya’s phone (via Audi’s CarPlay mode) and relaxed.  The driver assistance features made for such a smooth ride, the car practically drove itself. The Audi Q7 is without a doubt, not only a luxury we could get used to, but a luxury worth having.

heymamaXaudi-33

heymamaXaudi-31

heymamaXaudi-37 

Thanks for a great weekend Audi!

 

xx,

Amri & Katya

 

Photos by Stevi Sesin

 heymamaXaudi-39

 

 Sponsored*

#LookGood, Blogger, Fashion, Travel

How To Travel With Kids and STILL Look Like A Million Bucks

July 22, 2016
travel with kids

When transitioning from working in the fashion industry in New York City to a working-from-home mom in Texas, I promised myself that I wouldn’t let my whole closet go to waste in exchange for a few rotating pairs of yoga pants. (Not that there is anything wrong with yoga pants, there is definitely a time and place for them, as well!) Almost three years into motherhood and two precious little boys later, I have found my stride in mixing my former working wardrobe with casual elements that help me feel comfortable in my own skin and just plain comfortable. At some point in recent decades, traveling has become an excuse for people to literally wear their sleepwear in public. I, however, am from the belief system that if you are over the age of two, that is probably not appropriate. (With a few exceptions that include an overnight flight, for example.) That being said, I have found a way to travel with kids in comfort without sacrificing style. With this simple airport style formula, anyone can pull it off!

travel with kids
1. Bottoms up!: I always wear pants when traveling because I am usually cold on planes. Reach for
a stretching skinny jeans or equally stretching and comfortable skinny black pant.
2. Layer, layer!: Depending on if I am still nursing or not, I will wear a comfortable knit or button up top (the later if I am nursing). They don’t wrinkle; it’s comfortable, but presentable. (Check, check and check!)
3. Top it off: Next, I layer on a light piece of outerwear. A structured blazer adds more of a polished look to an otherwise casual outfit, but a cute boyfriend cardigan is also a perfect addition. (I have a camel cape that has travel the world with me, literally.) This item serves two purposes for me because it adds an element of style to a simple wardrobe, but it also will keep you warm on an air-conditioned plane. (If I am still nursing, I prefer to go with a cape or drapy cardigan that can also provide some additional privacy, when needed.)
4. Kick off your heels: Literally, don’t wear heels. Find a cute pair of flat slides that can easily be removed when going through security and are comfortable when lugging children and bags around the airport.
5. Bag lady: Between the car seat, stroller and (not to mention) kids, your hands are quiet literally full. I always stick to one roller bag (and make sure to check it at the curb) for my luggage, a simple cross-body bag (to easily access important documents) and a diaper bag or backpack for the kids. (If you have a toddler, let them carry their in flight entertainment in their own carryon. For babies, you will obviously need a lightweight diaper bag with all the essentials.)
6. Keep it Simple: Now is not the time to accessorize. A watch and a dainty necklace are all you need.
Now you are ready for take off!

travel with kids

Safe travels,
 Caroline Knapp
@houseofharper
http://www.houseofharper.com/
travel with kids
#LADYBOSS, Business, Travel

The Surf Lodge: Meet The Moms Who Made Montauk Magnetic

July 19, 2016
Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.26.47 AM

If you haven’t been out to Montauk, then you don’t know about the intricacies of the space out there. It’s quiet, calm, salty, filled of turquoise and green. There are countless trails, beach breaks, harbors, farms, vineyards, and so much more. It’s unlike any other place; it’s breathtaking, really. And though it started as a town for fisherman and surfers, it’s grown to become a place that is shared with tourists (yes, some that party too much), world travelers, corporate business folks and of course creatives. If you’re interested in other Hamptons hotspots, check out Mama + Tata’s Guide here.

To get you excited about our event in Montauk with SELF, we interviewed the owner and creative director of The Surf Lodge.

Scroll down to meet Jayma Cardoso (Owner) and Sasha Benz (Creative Director) and learn more about what it takes to create a space that pushes creative and community based boundaries.

 

Jayma, It’s fair to say that you predicted a trend. You found Montauk about two decades ago, bought The Surf Lodge, and created a culture centered around great space, food, music, art, and of course, people. Can you speak to us a little bit about your endeavors leading up to your 2008 purchase?

JAYMA: I found a home away from my home in Brazil. When I moved to the U.S., Montauk was raw, beautiful, and centered around this amazing beach culture. Similar to Brazilians, the people here are earnest and proud.

Originally, I came to the U.S. to study science, but I ended up following a passion for hospitality.  I partnered on Cain and Goldbar in New York City. Then Cain in the Cove in the Bahamas. Ultimately, I wanted to get into the hotel industry, as for me it is the highest reflection of hospitality —  a good hotel is like inviting someone into your home. I didn’t strive to create a sub-community; I worked to be a member of a noble community. For me,The Surf Lodge is a space to share art: be it design, food, fine art, live music or wellness.

 

How did you guys meet?

SASHA: I had been coming to The Surf Lodge for five years. My husband, Oli, was DJing there. We were about to move to LA, and then Jayma called me and asked to meet for a glass of wine. After that glass, she said she needed me on board. She knew what I was capable of, and I was hungry for a new challenge. It was perfect. We’re both motivated, we work well together, and we agreed on changes that needed to happen…It all happened very quickly and I was in Montauk only a few weeks later.

Surf Lodge

What were you doing before?

SASHA: I was a stylist for about twelve years. Just before Surf Lodge, I started my own online magazine — All My Friends Are Models. At first, I was knee-deep trying to balance the two, but I found a good team and made it work.

 

The Surf Lodge brings in different types of people, divergent from the Montauk local, do you feel like you were welcomed initially as a community member with the locals?

SASHA: It’s funny how the locals work… I think we blended with them only when we stayed here during the week, which is what Oli and I did; we got to know people that way, but the water was where it all happened. Oli would paddle out and really bond with the boys out there.

JAYMA: Everyone quickly fell in love with the great beauty that is Montauk, and there was a rush to share it by both tourists and businesses. I don’t think Montauk, East Hampton or residents alike could have expected there to be such a strong interest in Montauk. However, I do think that, as long as tourists, new residents, new and existing businesses put an earnest effort into preserving Montauk and giving back to the community, Montauk will thrive.

 

What kind of events do you host to blend communities?

JAYMA: I’m involved with a few charities, such as the coastline. But Sasha has been the one pushing for the pop-ups, crafting a great space, and involving strong and emerging brands out here.

SASHA: When I approached the idea of The Surf Lodge community, my first instinct was to involve other brands & influencers. So, basically we built a space where brands can be active to show their product. Last year we did a really big month-long activation with Revolve, this year we have something different each week for the entire season. We onboarded Fendi, Topshop, Nicole Miller, Erin Wasson and many others.The Surf Lodge

“When people ask me what the Surf Lodge is like, I tell them that I can’t explain it. It’s something you have to experience. It’s the people, the vibe.. It’s something you can’t get anywhere.” – Sasha Benz, Creative Director

 

So what do you both DO at The Surf Lodge? Be honest, how many hats do you #LadyBosses wear?

SASHA: I handle anything that is creative. I do a lot of the work with brands, celebrities, partners, and anything having to do with the vibe and décor on the property. The biggest creative project I did last year was transforming the back of house into an actual area. We gutted the whole thing, built out decks and made a manmade beach with a private garden for the hotel guests. Now, we throw events out there near a tree cascading with the sunset and covered in fairy lights. It’s like a dream-world.

JAYMA: Hospitality Brands (or any brand for that matter) has so many intricate parts and details.  I think I only wear one hat, which is having a very clear vision of what The Surf Lodge is meant to be and ensuring it manifests itself in that vision.  I have a great team, I trust them and let them do amazing work, but in doing so, I’m active in every detail so I’m clear on what challenges we have and can help empower the team to meet these challenges. Guests are also a top priority; we really strive to create experiences for our visitors that reflect The Surf Lodge’s values. For me, spending time with guests is one of the clearest barometers in determining if the experiences we are creating is adding value to their live.

 

So you both are moms now. First of all, CONGRATS!! We know, firsthand, how amazing it is to become a mother. Has it been difficult adapting?

JAYMA: Motherhood has been the greatest gift given to me in my life. I’m so blessed and thankful; but, to be honest, my roles at The Surf Lodge haven’t changed, my role as a woman has. I’ve really enjoyed embracing my new state of being as a mother, and I’ve created new systems of how I live life as a woman, mother, and business owner. The key is balance, and fortunately, women have always been great at balancing multiple roles in their lives.

SASHA: To be honest, it has all been a massive eye opening experience. It’s all still fairly new to me, but the love I have for him is already unfathomable, so the challenges I have faced so far all seem so minor and achievable. I was back at work only two weeks after having him, which was obviously a big hurdle – I had to figure out how to balance work, family and my personal life all at once. I learnt very quickly what was important and what I needed to let go of. It’s also been tough being so far from the city, and especially my family back home, but in terms of the ease of life, you’ll never be closer to finding bliss living in Montauk. 

 

Is The Surf Lodge kid-friendly?

JAYMA: We have a wonderful community of children that are also guests. For them, we’ve set up engaging activities like surf lessons or the paddle boards. I believe that children and their eagerness to learn and explore are great values that adults should aspire to. I feel honored when families stay with us, come to dinner, or take part in cultural activities at the hotel.

Surf Lodge

Aside from motherhood and your involvement in Montauk with The Surf Lodge, what else are you both working on? Can you tell us about the creative projects you are both involved in? Does it stop there? We know you both are serious #LadyBosses.

SASHA: There’s so much. I literally never stop. As soon as an opportunity comes towards me, I never say no. Obviously, my online magazine, All My Friends Are Models, is a huge project for me. I started it three years ago and now we’re doing a ton of different events. We have another one here in July. To help me scale it, I’ve hired ten writers, a team in LA, Sydney, and New York.

 

As new mamas, how do you ladies #TreatYourself out in Montauk? Do you have time to!?

JAYMA: I go to Dave’s Grill. It’s still one of my favorite restaurants and a nice dinner out is always a wonderful treat.

SASHA:I don’t often get much time off, but when I’m not working, my favorite thing to do are always just the simple things like hanging out with Oli at home, talking with my family back home or taking the pup for a walk on the beach. 

Surf Lodge

Last question for you both, how do you think your job as a mother + professional is going to continue evolving? What are you looking forward to?

JAYMA: I hope so! Life is always about evolving. As a mother, it’s about the different stages of motherhood. You must accept all obstacles with grace, so that your child (or children) flourish. Professionally, it’s about executing whatever you’re passionate about with excellence. For me, one of my passions is to reach a bigger community with a message of experiences and exploration via the arts, be it; music, fine art, food, design and/or wellness.

SASHA: I look forward to finding a home and settling down with my husband. I also am excited to learn more about letting go of my crazy work habits and spend time with my little one. I think having a successful career and being a successful mom is totally correlated. It’s all about balance.

Photos by Paul Brooke Jr and Madison McGraw

Make sure you meet us at The Surf Lodge for our #StrongLikeAMama Event with SELF at The Surf Lodge, on July 31st (buy tickets here).

To enter our Montauk Escape dream giveaway, click here.

#FeelGoodMama, Balance, Travel, Wellness

Attention #LADYBOSS, You Need a Vacation and Here’s Where to Go

July 12, 2016
unnamed-1-2

Vacation is something we all claim to want, yet often never take the time to actually plan and unplug from our everyday work lives (cue complaining). There has long been a stigma that being away from the office meant being away from work and being away from work meant you weren’t a “good employee” or a “hard worker.” However, what most people fail to realize is that taking time for yourself and exposure to different people, places, and cultures can make you more productive. After all, what’s the point in sitting in an office for 262 days for 8 hours a day if half of those hours you’re not really working because you’re tired of the same monotonous daily routing and end up bored and distracted by social media and surfing the web.

Not convinced? Check out the reasons below how/why your vacation will make you a better employee and/or boss!

Perspective: Experiences are what makes life memorable and worth living. They are also what influences our view of the world and how we internalize those views creates what we put out into the world. The ability to travel allows people to taste different food, interact with different people, and see how different cultures live. All of these things allow individuals to see the world differently.

Inspiration: Exploring different places and interacting with new people allows for maximum inspiration. Surrounding yourself in a new environment allows your brain to see, hear, feel, taste, and experience things it has yet to experience, so don’t be surprised if you come back from your travels with solutions to that problem you’ve been trying to fix for months, or a new business idea all together.

Opportunity: Travel, especially solo travel, can help you become a natural networker because traveling, especially alone, forces you to interact with other people. You can’t get to where you’re going in a foreign place without asking someone for directions at some point. You can’t order a meal to your liking in abroad without communicating with a waitress or street vendor without asking how the food was prepared. These are both natural ways for you to become comfortable with interacting with other people and different types of people, which boosts your natural capabilities to network.

Productivity: Trading in your office for a beach or somewhere new is great for productivity. Travel allows you to recharge your batter and renew your focus on work. If you’re on vacation because you’re beyond stressed and this is your last resort I need a break kind of trip, really try hard to block out work completely and immerse yourself in your new surroundings. Removing those stress triggers (email, I’m talking to you), are essential to complete re-energize your mindset so that when you do return to your “day job” you’ll be happy to be there.

So here’s the deal, take out those calendars, send the boss (or your team) an email, and dedicate time for that family (or solo) vacation that’s long overdue.

Not sure where to go? We tapped passported.com CEO/Co-founder, Henley Vazquez for a list of six destinations that are so special that even the most interesting Instagram feed won’t distract you:  

Where: Kennebunkport, Maine

Why: It’s classic Americana, a place where even the “fancy” parts are mellow, where no make-up is needed and there’s no scene to impress. Build sandcastles on broad beaches, chow on lobster rolls, fall asleep at 9 pm and wake up with an early morning hike or bike ride. It’s the antidote to busy city life.

Stay: Hidden Pond, a Kennebunkport resort with a collection of cute cottages that give guests the privacy of a house but with access to a resort. Local designers decorated each of the two-bedroom cottages, all of which are fun, funky, and perfect for families, or leave the kids with grandma and check into the studios, romantic tree houses tucked away in the forest.

Vacation

Where: Tuscany

Why: Duh, because Italy is awesome. But seriously, Tuscany has the history, the culture, the food and, of course, the wine that we all adore. Traipse around the streets of Siena, tour a winery, take a cooking class to learn some new recipes that you can incorporate as part of your family dinners at home.

Stay: Castiglion del Bosco or La Bandita, one a Ferragamo-owned resort with a kids’ club, vineyard and multiple restaurants, the other a boutique country home owned by an American music exec and his travel writer wife. Both are badass, and one will fit your budget, whether you’re ready to splurge or need to save your euros.

vacation

Where: Nosara, Costa Rica

Why: Summer is Costa Rica’s rainy season, but it’s also when the swells are best, so if you’re a serious surfer, now’s the time to head south. Plus, a twenty-minute tropical downpour is the perfect excuse for an afternoon nap (you’ll be ready for one after hitting the breaks before breakfast), get a massage or kick back with a good book. This is the vacation to take sans kids so you can chill, big time.

Stay: Surf Simply blends surfing and science to create a one-week program that’s like camp for grown-ups. Twice daily sessions filmed by their in-house paparazzi crew gives you videos to bring home as well as an easy way to analyze your form (lookin’ good, girl), plus there’s an awesome chef, comfortable rooms and talks on tides and safety so you learn more than how to hang ten.

vacation

Where: Aspen, Colorado

Why: The mountains are good for the soul. Hike, bike and see why plenty of people happily trade beach time for this Rocky Mountain town that blends the right about of chi-chi fun with great restaurants, A+ hotels and, of course, the great outdoors. The summer is also when the Aspen Ideas Festival lures luminaries to town, so you can edify your brain with lectures by some of the brightest minds in the world. Come back smarter and more fit.

Stay: Hotel Jerome, one of the town’s most historic hotels brought back to life by Auberge Resorts. The food rocks, the rooms feel like the inside of a Ralph Lauren dream, and everyone from John Wayne to Hunter S. Thompson has spent time here. It’s a classic.

vacation

Where: Santa Monica, California

Why: LA may not sound like the place to unplug, but for ADD travelers who thrive on the action but still need some beach time, this is the place to be. Jog the coast in the morning, shop Abbot Kinney in the afternoon, throw in some culture with a visit to this summer’s Cindy Sherman exhibit at The Broad or a tour of the Getty. And if your kid has been hassling you for the Disney experience, celebrate that you can check it off in a one-day adventure versus dedicating an entire vacation to Florida.

Stay: Shutters on the Beach and its sister Casa del Mar are much beloved for good reason, but if you need a less pricey alternative, the Viceroy is just a block away, or check out the new bungalow suites at the Fairmont.

vacation

Where: St. Barth’s, French West Indies

Why: St. Barth’s is the French Riviera for those who need an easier getaway and don’t want to fight the traffic into St. Tropez. Combine off-season prices with perfectly seasonal weather and some of the Caribbean’s best beaches, and you’ve got vacation gold. Pick up morning croissants at La Petite Colombe, float away work stress on Saline, collapse into a plate of the best ceviche at Bonito or dance the night away at Le Yacht Club. Whether you plan to spend your vacay splashing on the beach with the kids or snuggling with the hubby in a chic restaurant (or both!), there’s something here for everyone.

Stay: If traveling with kids, check into the Guanahani, whose kids’ club and spacious suites make it a perfect pick for families. Without kids, Eden Rock, Cheval Blanc and The Christopher are our favs.

vacation

Feature image by Courtney Adamo, who is currently traveling the world with her five children. Follow her journey on Instagram @courtneyadamo

Food, Shopping, Summer, Travel

Mama + Tata’s Kid-Friendly Guide To The Best Summer Ever In The Hamptons

June 28, 2016
IMG_5241

Meet the ladies of Mama and Tata, who we have tapped to provide our heymama mommies with their curated guide to the Hamptons…

We are two sisters born and raised in New York City who have lived downtown, uptown, east-side, and west-side, over the past 30 years. We love our city and all of its resources, and are passionate about the culture, fashion, and lifestyle it provides us. Through our many years of scouring different neighborhoods to find the best of the best, we have researched and gathered an extensive list to provide our followers with a guide to this city. As Mama and Tata (auntie in French), we tell our story from the perspective of a fashionable mom of two, Candice, and a newly pregnant and inquisitive mom-to-be, Jenna, who lean on each other and pass each other sisterly advice. As moms and aunties, on this journey of motherhood together, we would like to share our experiences and impart our insights on how to be a great mom while maintaining beauty, style, and glamour in everyday life. We have teamed with the rad chicks of heymama to give you a glimpse into our strong sisterly bond as Mama and Tata while providing you with our Hamptons Secrets!

Mama (as described by Tata) – Candice Miller is the head buyer for Tenet shop in Southampton, New York. She wears so many hats and has so many talents; on top of her buying experience, she is a certified learning specialist and worked at the Dwight School in an educational and charitable role for over 5 years. I would describe her as a type A mom, a creative planner, who always puts her kids first. I rely on Candice for EVERYTHING! She is my go-to person for advice in all aspects of my life. Her style in 3 words is feminine, cohesive, and original. 

Tata (as described by Mama) – Jenna Crespi left her law profession behind to work at the e-commerce and marketing platform Gilt City, a division of Gilt Groupe. She spent her years there researching New York’s best services across all categories, including beauty, fitness, travel, and food, making her an expert on her city. Jenna grew up raiding my closet and now leans on me to answer all of her questions regarding motherhood. I continuously rely on Jenna for sound judgment and relaxed energy, which will make her a great mom. Her style in 3 words is comfortable, casual, and simple.

***

HAMPTONS GUIDE:

 

Mama & Tata's Guide to the Hamptons

First Blue LLC at Rose Hill Farm

Our closest friends recommended Rose Hill, where they sent their daughters to ride every summer.  Their children learned so much about love, courage, and discipline, not to mention, they are all major award-winning, competitive riders to this day.  My daughter showed such excitement about pony riding that I set up private riding lessons for her.  Her two favorite, sweet, gentle ponies at the stable are named Blacky and Willow.  The instructors, Amanda and Jess, are wonderful and take it very slow with beginners to build confidence and give encouragement.  My daughter loves her time at Rose Hill, and is now trotting around the ring with a smile on her face, eager to learn whatever comes next.  At the end of each lesson, she is invited to groom her pony, brush his hair, and feed him.  My daughter looks forward to this portion of the lesson, since she is very care-taking and loves animals.

Mama & Tata's Guide to the Hamptons

Babinski Farm Stand

As a Mama, it’s very difficult to find fresh, boneless fish to feed my children.  After a long search out east, I found Babinski Farm Stand, where they had a fresh catch from Thursday-Sunday. Mama and Tata’s highlight here are their fresh lobsters that they chop up on site.  Their fish is so clean and delicious, we have it cooking in our home almost every night, and all it needs is a pinch of sea salt and a touch of olive oil!  It makes healthy eating easy!  If you’re in the mood for a splurge, they also have the most spectacular cheeses, fresh coffee crumb cakes, and chocolate chip banana bread!  The kiddies can go ride on the big red tractor out front, pick beautiful wild flowers, or feed the chickens out back!  Family fun for all!

Botanica Baazar

Botanica Baazar, which recently opened in Amagansett Square, is our new go-to beauty boutique. They sell all of our favorite product lines like Shiva Rose skincare, Captain Blakenship hair products, and the beautiful co-owner Leilani Bishop’s fragrance oils. This is the perfect spot to find serenity with their selection of natural oils and scrubs. We highlight this shop as our top beauty destination in the Hamptons.

Mama & Tata's Guide to the Hamptons

Parrish Art Museum

The Parrish Art is the perfect indoor activity during summer days when taking a break from the beach. The architecture alone is astounding, set on 14 acres in Water Mill and designed by the incredibly talented duo Herzog & de Meuron. It provides our family with the perfect dose of cultural fun and learning about contemporary art. Check out their current exhibition through July titled Radical Seafaring, that explores boat trips around East End.

Wolffer Estate

Sunset Fridays and Saturdays at Wolffer, running through the end of September, provide the best setup for our weekly family picnics. When Tata isn’t pregnant, we take down our Wolffer rose and cheese while the girls play with their friends and dance to the live music. It is such a special setting in the vineyard and the wines are delicious, so we recommend taking a case home!

Mama & Tata's Guide to the Hamptons

 

 ***

More from Mama & Tata

The phrase “Mama & Tata” was derived from my two-year old daughter, Leelee, who decided to call my sister and me the “Mamatata” whenever Jenna came over to play.   The sister relationship is extremely significant in our family as our grandmothers each came from two sisters, our mothers were two sisters, and of course, we were two sisters, and then I had two little girls!  As a Mom of two children, I feel there is a high demand for honest, reliable, beneficial information in all aspects of our lives.  We simply do not have time to do the research it takes to find the “best.”  We are far too busy feeding our children, bathing them, taking them to activities and playdates, getting them dressed for school, drop offs, pick ups, birthday parties, cleaning up their rooms, watching their favorite Disney movie, and answering the question “but why mommy?” a gazillion times a day.  Some days it’s hard to even get a shower in or take a bathroom break. There are SO many things moms need to know about even before becoming one.  The scariest part of becoming a mom is the unknown, and all of the unspoken crazy things that go along with the transition into this role.  I wanted to have a web guide to openly address all of these unspoken occurrences. I wanted to provide my sister (Tata) and the rest of the moms out there with ways to feel better, get better, and be the best mom that you can be.  As it turns out, a happy, healthy mom is what ultimately creates the best environment for a child’s development.  So, be good to yourselves, and let me help you get through this beautiful, wild, magical, yet sometimes challenging journey.

Mama

Carrying my first baby has been an unexpected and exciting journey. I have so many questions, and of course my sister has been an amazing resource, but I enjoy researching and exploring what NYC has to offer. My curiosities range from nursery decor, to prenatal massages, to exploring organic food stores and skincare lines, to what should be in my hospital bag, which classes are available for early childhood development, to baby food recipes and more. I intend to document this process of searching for what is best for me and my first baby boy, and do all of the research for pregnant moms in NYC asking these same questions. There is so much to learn as a new mom, and I can’t wait to share it with you while preparing for the best gift life has to offer.

Tata

 

Guide to the Hamptons

 

Check out Candice & Jenna’s heymama profiles here and here

If you’re in the Hamptons this summer, be sure to check out the event they’re throwing July 21st!

HAM_LondonJewelers_INVITATION (1)

Contest, Lifestyle, Swim, Travel

#TRAVEL: Pack Your Bag For Kid & Coe’s Top 10 Best Beach Destinations

November 16, 2015
The Palm Villa, Kid & Coe

Mamas.. we want to get you pumped for all the amazing family friendly beach destinations you could win a credit toward in our Ocean Air, Salty Hair Give-away! We’ve lined up Kid & Coe’s top 10 best beach destinations here, so get ready to pack you bags . Wet your feet in the ocean at any of these exotic locations while you dig into that bag of swag from Lem Lem + mini-mode, Supergoop, Sunuva, and Sakara Life. We’re dreaming of sipping margaritas while the kiddies run naked and free on the beach. Oh wait…. we’re still here in New York. Whoever wins don’t forget to bring us along… remember we’re the ones who invited you in the first place!! 
Dimi Residence from Kid & CoeThe Dimi Residence
Crete, Greek Islands
€350 – €680
Sleeps up to 11

This stunning, sun-filled 4-bedroom home features a heated pool surrounded by a covered terrace, full kitchen, multiple dining areas, BBQ, gym, and fish pond: all just a short walk from a sandy beach and local restaurants. The residence is in Kalathas Chania in the west of Crete and is surrounded by lush gardens and olive groves.

 

The Casa Dos Chicos

The Casa Dos Chicos
Sayulita, Mexico
$420 – $800 per night
Sleeps up to 10

This pink and turquoise villa in Sayulita, Mexico is the perfect multi-family trip, with large bedrooms, a treetop plunge pool, a swimming pool and open air living area. The property is a hop and a skip from a beach with consistent surf, both a mecca to beginners and experienced surfers. Don’t forget to try the frozen bananas!

 

The Victoria Residence Kid & Coe

The Victoria Residence
Cape Town, South Africa
$1,000 – $2,000 per night
Sleeps up to 12

Fall asleep to the sound of the waves and enjoy sun-soaked mountain views from every room in this 5-bedroom beach house. Features include a saltwater pool, fynbos garden, giant sandbox and slide, and an open plan kitchen perfect for family time at the end of a busy day. The property is within walking distance of 3 private beaches, the neighborhood playground, and one of the greatest little coffee shops in town.

 

The Limestone Bay Residence, Kid & Coe

The Limestone Bay Residence
Anguilla, Caribbean
$3,000 per night
Sleeps up to 9

This decadent beachfront villa features an infinity-edge pool with its own stretch of private beach. The onsite staff can handle all laundry and housekeeping needs so that you and the kids have plenty of time to swim, sun and explore the environs. We love the classic island vibe of white sand beaches and plenty of restaurants to try with the whole family.

 

The Grasswood Residence, Kid & Coe

The Grasswood Residence
Malibu, California
$900 – $1,200 per night
Sleeps up to 12

This sprawling 5-bedroom Malibu home couldn’t be better located for the ultimate SoCal getaway. Kids will love the stocked playspaces, outdoor trampoline and play structure as well as visiting nearby Zuma Beach and Big Dume with boogie boards in tow. Spend evenings grilling on the spacious deck overlooking Santa Monica Bay or soaking in the 8-person jacuzzi shaded by orange, lemon and grapefruit trees.

 

The Beija Flor Residence, Kid & Coe

The Beija Flor Residence
Bahia, Brazil
$1,400 – $1,695 per night
Sleeps up to 10

This fully-staffed 5-suite beach-side residence borders the unspoilt village of Canavieras in southern Bahia and makes an idyllic retreat for families of all ages. Play on the beach, try your hand at kitesurfing or relax in beach restaurants with fresh fish and a caipirinha. The property is fairly remote so bring a couple of good books, lots of sunscreen and get ready for a slower pace of life in tropical surroundings.

 

The Palm Villa, Kid & coe

The Palm Villa
Mararikulam, Kerala
£345 per night
Sleeps up to 9

Tucked away from tourist traffic, this one-story Keralan beach bungalow promises an exotic stay by the Arabian sea. With colonial-style decor, it has a sense of grandeur and comes complete with outdoor and indoor play spaces. Relax in a hammock and watch the children dig holes to the middle of the earth. There are plenty of sights to see nearby such as temples and an elephant camp, and the experienced staff can suggest and arrange activities to suit you and your family, from cooking lessons to day trips.

 

The Palm Villa, Kid & Coe

The Hopewell Residence
Hanover, Jamaica
$892 – $1,178 per night
Sleeps up to 13

Just west of Montego Bay, this classic Jamaican residence is fully staffed and shares facilities with the nearby Round Hill Hotel. It’s all about living well here: an airy, spacious, private residence with a freshwater pool and tropical gardens, plus access to the neighboring hotel’s kids club and facilities and the area’s most kid-friendly beach. The property is just across the road from the beach and is comprised of two buildings, a cottage sleeping 4-6 and the main house, sleeping 6, therefore well-suited for a multi-family trip.

 

The Rivarella Residence, Kid & CoeThe Rivarella Residence
Novigrad, Croatia
€1,000
Sleeps up to 12

This contemporary, yacht-inspired luxury villa with pool is surrounded by ancient city walls and is steps from shops, cafés, and restaurants. Take in the breathtaking views from three private terraces and spectacular 360-degree panoramic vistas of the Adriatic Sea and the picturesque town of Novigrad from the rooftop terrace. We love the private indoor pool, which opens to a broad terrace via floor-to-ceiling retractable glass windows.

 

The San Carlos Residence, Kid & CoeThe San Carlos Residence
Ibiza, Spain
€357 – €929 per night
Sleeps up to 10

This spacious villa, close to local beaches, has a fantastic pool and mini playground at the end of the garden with a swing and playhouse. For quiet evenings, there are jigsaw puzzles in the second lounge and the smart TV has all the latest children’s films available. For those traveling with another family, the twin and triple bedded rooms are well set up for a group of kids staying together. Slumber Partyyyy!!

#LADYBOSS, Beauty, Health, Lifestyle, Travel

#LADYBOSS: Supergoop! Founder Holly Thaggard Works To Get Sun Protection Into Schools

November 9, 2015
Holly Thaggard

Winter is just around the corner and we’ve got you covered with our awesome package of beach ready goodies to kick-start your winter vacation. Sign up to win over $2,000 prizes from Kid & Coe, Sakara, Sunuva, Supergoop!, Lem LemMini-Mode  here. While daydreaming about a beach get-a-way and making our packing list Supergoop! always makes the list. So it was a no brainer to get them on board for our Ocean Air, Salty Hair Giveaway!

Every summer and vacation we’re really diligent about coating ourselves and our little ones in sunscreen. What we didn’t think about was all the time kids spend outside during the school day, while at the playground, with no protection at all. Holly Thaggard started Supergoop! to create feel good sun protection. She started Project Black Dot to raise awareness and get the message out that kids need to be allowed to wear sunscreen in schools; to do this in most states kids need a signed permission slip to be able to apply their own sunscreen. Project Black Dot provides a simple, sunscreen permission slip found on ProjectBlackDot.org, to tackle this issue as well as educate parents and policy makers about the importance of updating antiquated laws that exist today. Let’s protect our kids at school the same way we protect them at the beach!

 

 

What motivated you to start Supergoop!?

My close friend was diagnosed with melanoma when we were 29 years old. It was shocking to me that someone so young and healthy could get skin cancer. Through this experience I learned the alarming reality that one in five people will be diagnosed with skin caner. It’s the most common cancer in the United States and a majority of the damage that leads to skin cancer later in life is actually done during childhood as kids are exposed to 3 times more sun than adults. In exploring the market for a product that I would use to protect my family, the products that were available in suncare were chock full of harmful ingredients and simply didn’t feel good on the skin. This was my motivation to create a brand that stood for feel-good UV protection without all of the controversial ingredients.

….a majority of the damage that leads to skin cancer later in life is actually done during childhood as kids are exposed to 3 times more sun than adults.

 

How is Supergoop! different than other sun blocks on the market?

Supergoop! is 100% dedicated to delivering highly efficacious UV protection in the form of multifunctional products that feel great on the skin. Most suncare products contain skin-irritating ingredients like oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate and various parabens. While these ingredients are effective UV filters and preservative systems, they often are the agents responsible for skin irritation and potentially cancer. Supergoop! delivers not only highly efficacious UV protection without the use of these unhealthy ingredients but when you compare price per ounce, our products are only a slight premium to drugstore prices. And best of all, Supergoop! actually feels good on the skin! You want to apply your sun protection every single day when it feels good, and this daily regimen is the path we believe is going to stop the epidemic of skin cancer.

Holly Thaggard of Supergoop

Tell us your start up story? What’s your background?

I grew up wanting to do nothing but two things: be a teacher and perform as harpist. While most of my twenties were spent as a professional harpist, I did teach third grade right out of college. After my friend was diagnosed with skin cancer, I reflected back quite a bit on my time as a teacher. I realized that as an educator in the U.S., we teach kids a myriad of daily healthy habits — how to brush their teeth, wear a seat belt, look both ways when crossing the street, but healthy skincare habits were never even a consideration . I never once saw sunscreens at school yet the kids were on the playground under the intense sun at peak hours every single day. So while my time in the classroom was short, I still feel today that I’m fulfilling a life of teaching, only not from within the four walls of a classroom.

 

Where you self funded or did raise money?

Supergoop! was self funded for the first several years and well into our retail launch. I was still learning about the suncare and beauty industry and really feeling my way around and gauging consumer interest in the brand. Once we had some serious traction as a likeable and real brand in key markets, my brother invested. This investment helped me continue building on significant year over year growth and only recently we closed our Series A round that includes strategic investors in the world of beauty and personal care.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? 

I love reading non-fiction, real stories of brand building. Pretty early on I ran across some entrepreneurial advice in that “it takes a lifetime to be an overnight success”. While I’m a big fan of Sharktank and my DVR is filled with past episodes, the perception that every company can get the awareness, the following and the revenues in a quick 15 minutes of fame can be misleading to young entrepreneurs. When starting a company, it’s important for entrepreneurs to understand and accept that it will often take 10 times longer than they expect. But, if they keep their head down, and are willing to work hard it will eventually pay off. It just might not happen tomorrow.

 

 Pretty early on I ran across some entrepreneurial advice in that “it takes a lifetime to be an overnight success”….When starting a company, it’s important for entrepreneurs to understand and accept that it will often take 10 times longer than they expect.

 

What is something in your career that you see as a marker for success, a moment you’ve had or are working towards when you feel Supergoop! is a success?

I’ve always been a big fan of writing things down. Recently my mother reminded me that my mirror in my bathroom growing up was filled with colored sticky notes that included my daily, weekly and monthly goals. I’ve definitely held myself accountable on paper to reaching very specific social and financial goals and it is always nice to reflect back and see that your hopes match a reality.

That said, one specific moment that really made me feel our brand was making a difference happened a couple of years ago while standing in the security line in the San Francisco airport with my Supergoop! tote in tow. A mother with her family in front of me noticed my tote and commented that they love Supergoop! while pulling a tube of lotion out of her handbag. Then without pause, the couple behind me blurted out their love for Supergoop! too and the gentlemen pulled a lip balm out of his pocket. It was a pretty proud moment for me.

Holly Thaggard and her family playing soccer

Do you have an advisory board? If so how did you go about building that?

My co-owner, Maria Sharapova, and I are just now today in discussion about putting a very informal advisory board together to bounce ideas around. I believe that one of the real benefits of being a young brand is that you can be quick. There really weren’t too many people early on to get in the way of the vision I had for Supergoop!. Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry, of Method, say that when you’re small, being faster than your competitors is your biggest and sometimes only advantage. I believe in this whole-heartedly.

 

What’s a good way to start talking to your kids about the dangers of the sun and applying sun block? Is there a way we can make this fun and start out kids early?

At Supergoop!, education is one of our main priorities. Healthy habits are most easily formed and followed if they are started early in life and so youth education is paramount. SPF application should be as common for kids as brushing their teeth and washing their hands. I’ve found in my own life that my children are most receptive to new habits if they feel ownership over them, so I always encouraged them to not only wear sunscreen, but in fact be the one responsible for applying it. If your children are old enough to brush their teeth, they are certainly old enough to apply their suncare.

The trick is to make it fun –which is where Supergoop! comes in. We’ve got some great ways to make getting “goop-ed up” a bit more playful. Parents can encourage their kids to make a living art project by creating fun shapes with sunscreen like squiggles, dots, stars and hearts. My daughter Emery actually loves drawing smiley faces on her pink Beauty Blender before applying to her face, neck and ears. By using a beauty tool, this makes her feel very grown up. I’ve also been known to randomly ask both of my kids if they are wearing Supergoop! at any given time of day. If they can both honestly answer yes, we drop everything and head to the toy store. This also makes them look out for each other when I’m not around because if one can’t answer yes to this question, they both lose!

 

The trick is to make it fun –which is where Supergoop! comes in…Parents can encourage their kids to make a living art project by creating fun shapes with sunscreen like squiggles, dots, stars and hearts.

 

What is you favorite Supergoop! product?

While my favorite is always the formula I’ve most recently been working on in the lab, our Sun Defying Sunscreen Oil SPF 50 is in every bag I own. I’ve always loved how bath oils feel on the skin –how luxurious and hydrating they are and how they make your skin glow. I felt if we could layer a beauty oil with a foundation of broad spectrum, high SPF protection without a drop of greasiness, we could prevent photoaging, and this would be the ultimate skincare multitasker. It is really a beautiful formulation and I’m very proud of our work on this one.

Supergoop

What sun protection should we be wearing every day? Not just when we are at the beach, but during our normal city life?

Hands down our City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 is the holy grail of multifunction. It is super lightweight and milky and it not only protects the skin from day to day sun exposure but it also counteracts the signs of aging and acts as a great moisturizer and primer for under your foundation or CC cream. This is also the go-to product for many of our male customers. It’s not a bit shiny on the skin and doesn’t leave a white build-up on facial hair.

 

I’ve heard that some SPF’s can be bad for you. What kind of ingredients should we beware of on sunblock labels?

Steer clear of parabens, synthetic fragrances and oxybenzone. Oxybenzone, declared Allergen of the Year by the American Academy of Dermatology, has also been connected to hormone disruption and cell damage that can cause skin cancer. Another ingredient to avoid is Retinyl Palmitate (vitamin A) as studies suggest that while this is an antioxidant, it can actually accelerate growth of skin cancers. SPF’s over SPF 50 can also be irritating and the SPF benefits reach their maximum at 50.

 

How did you meet Maria Sharapova and how did you become business partners?

Maria has actually been a huge fan of Supergoop! for years. She really believed in our product line from the beginning for its efficacy and performance in high pressure situations. She also really appreciated that our formulas feel great on your skin.

When we first met in person, I think what quickly resonated with her, and ultimately why she wanted to make an investment in Supergoop!, was the realization that she could genuinely help deliver our message of skin cancer prevention and education to a larger audience and so, here we are!

kids holding signed slips

What is Project Black Dot?

Project Black Dot is our education and awareness platform that is the foundation around which we will launch various activism projects with the mission to end the epidemic of skin cancer. Maria and I are both so excited to share our passion and help start this critical conversation about skin cancer prevention while delivering simple, convenient tools to help everyone embrace healthy sun protection habits.

Our first project, Project Permission, calls attention to the current regulations on sunscreen in U.S. public schools. Because children are exposed to three times more UV than adults, and we know that no SPF provides all day protectionMost people are surprised to learn that because SPF is an over the counter drug, per FDA, this classification restricts children from carrying and applying sunscreen during the school day without a signed permission slip. Kids really need to have access to suncare during the school day. By providing a simple, sunscreen permission slip found on ProjectBlackDot.org, we can tackle this issue as well as educate parents and policy makers about the importance of updating antiquated laws that exist today.

 

Children are exposed to three times more UV than adults, and we know that no SPF provides all day protection. Most people are surprised to learn that because SPF is an over the counter drug, per FDA, this classification restricts children from carrying and applying sunscreen during the school day without a signed permission slip. Kids really need to have access to suncare during the school day.

 

You can learn more about Supergoop! here, follow Supergoop! on Instagram here, Project Black Dot here, and follow Holly on Instagram here.

Lifestyle, Mama Boss, Social Media, Travel

#TRAVEL: Courtney Adamo Takes Her Squad Around The World

November 6, 2015
Courtney Adamo and her four kids

There is a lot of talk about authenticity out there and being true to your voice and your beliefs on social media. There is also a lot of judgment going around regarding the how and why people are utilizing Instagram. Courtney Adamo is one of the most authentic voices on Instagram and has been such a supporter of smaller brands through the Babyccino Kids site she co-founded with her long time mama friends, Emilie and Esther. She gave us a peek into not only her career, but also the yearlong trip she’s currently taking with her family. The sweet photos on her feed have us counting our pennies to whisk our own families off on a life changing adventure; where we can focus on learning together, experience life, and appreciate each other. How can there be so much controversy over her beautiful pictures promoting a positive family experience? Haters gonna hate, but we can’t get enough!!   Courtney Adamo takes her squad around the world and we’re following along.

 

How did the Babyccino brand get started?

I met Esther and Emilie in London in 2005 shortly after our first babies were born, and we very quickly bonded over new motherhood and the questions/concerns/gripes/pleasures that come with it. We used to meet in cafes and talk about babies and newfound products we loved, recipes we made and enjoyed, activities we had discovered, and other interesting parenting topics, etc. Two years later, Emilie moved to Paris and Esther moved to Amsterdam. We started the Babyccino Kids blog as a way to stay in touch with each other and continue to share our discoveries as new mothers. This was back in 2007 when blogging was only beginning to become a trend – in fact most people didn’t even know what a blog was when we shared what we were doing.

Gradually, the blog started gaining interest and our blog grew and grew.

In 2010, three years after starting our blog, we launched our shopping portal — a curated directory of stylish, independent children’s shops.  We realized we were putting a lot of time into our blog and not making very much money from it, so we needed to figure out a way to turn it into a profitable business. We also wanted to provide a bigger platform for shops to advertise and grow their own businesses, and to provide a directory for our readers so they could find the smaller, independent brands that are difficult to find in bigger search engines like Google. The shopping portal met all of these different needs. We launched the shopping portal with 100 shops and now we have around 400.  It’s a curated selection so we don’t accept everyone who is interested; we only accept a few new brands here and there.

The most recent addition to our business is our ShopUp event.  Three years ago we started to host live shopping events hosted by Babyccino Kids. These ShopUp events give on-line shops a chance to set up a booth, and sell their wares in the flesh. We’ve hosted events in London and NYC, and we hope to bring the event to LA in 2016.

 

Courtney Adamo and her kids eating ice cream

 

Do you have any sort of rules for selecting brands? How do you find new brands?  With the shops, we look at them and make a combined decision. We look at the products they sell, the quality, the design, and the functionality of the website. It’s mostly a gut feeling. We don’t search for brands to work with, we really just respond to those who are reaching out to us. We have so many inquires, it’s a lot to keep up with at this point.

For me personally to work with a brand they have to be doing something I believe in and be authentic. It has to be something I would naturally buy or support without being paid to do so.

For me personally to work with a brand they have to be doing something I believe in and be authentic. It has to be something I would naturally buy or support without being paid to do so.

 

How do you utilize Instagram to support your business? 

It’s tricky because my feed is quite personal, but in the end it does benefit the Babyccino brand as a marketing tool. I myself prefer browsing Instagram to reading blogs because it is quick and visual and you can decide whether to dig further and click over to a site to read more. I also like seeing a gimpse of the people behind the brand, and I suppose our readers also like to see a personal glimpse our lives. In the beginning we hardly ever referred to our kids by their names or posted photos of our children, but people responded so well to it, so we started making it a bit more personal.

 

Have you made any life changing connections personal or professional through Instagram?

I have several really good friends and people I have met though Instagram. One family in Portugal have become really close friends of ours as a result of IG. She was a follower, we started chatting over email, and she invited us to come to Portugal to stay in her home. For a while, we thought it would be crazy to fly to Portugal to stay with a family we had never met before, but after a while we decided to do it. Because why not?! We went last April and it was really lovely, so much fun, and now we’re really good friends. That’s just one of many things that make me so thankful for this community. I’ve met so many really lovely people I would never have had contact with otherwise. And there’s so many other inspiring people I would still love to meet!

Courtney Adamo

 

How is it working with your partners? How do you divide and conquer?

Most of the workload is divided between Esther (in Amsterdam) and myself.  We spend a lot of time on Skype with each other, making decisions and plans for the weeks and months ahead. Sometimes we just keep Skype on while we’re both working and there will be long periods where we don’t even talk to each other, but we’re there just in case we have questions or need a second opinion. (This was obviously easier when I was in London and we were on a similar time zone.) We also must send about a hundred emails a day to each other! Additionally, we meet up a lot in our respective cities. It’s a pretty great job when you have to go to Amsterdam or Paris for work meetings!

I’m so thankful to have a business partner who shares a similar work ethic and devotion to our business. A lot of times when things go sour with partners, it’s because you do not have the same work ethic or want the same things, and we’re very lucky that we do have that. It’s not very often that Esther and I disagree and I never feel that one of us works more than other.  We’re like sisters. We each have 4 children; we parent in the same way, we share similar views about life and business, etc. I suppose our business is in tune, because we have the same values. It also helps that we have added a couple other women to our team to help with the shopping portal and admin of our business. We have a pretty great team and we are very proud of how far our little business has come.

Courtney Adamo and her daughter holding hands

 

How did the idea behind this year of travel come about?

I’ve always wanted to do this ever since I was a child. Growing up, there was a family living next door to my grandparents who took a year out and travelled around the world for a year. It was a bold move for a family in small town America, and I remember being so intrigued why they would do something like that. When they returned, they came back so changed, telling stories and showing us photos from their trips, friendship bracelets they’d made, etc.  They talked in way that exuded a sense of worldly understanding and adventure; they were really smart had truly seen the world. Most importantly, they were really close as a family. They seemed so enriched by the experience. It shaped them as a family and the time they got to spend together was what they really gained. It was less about traveling the world and more about pushing pause and taking a year to really enjoy each other.

It was less about traveling the world and more about pushing pause and taking a year to really enjoy each other.

What’s been the best part of your trip so far for your kids and for you? It’s been so great to spend so much time (nearly every minute!) together as a family, and to be able to be able to slow down the pace of our lives so that we are able to focus, listen and be more present with one another. Of course this has also brought challenges as well. It’s not always easy to spend every single moment of your day with your children and to try to homeschool them as well. There are moments where the kids test your patience and you wish you could send them off to school for a few hours and give yourself a bit of a break. But we are slowly finding our rhythm and learning what works and what doesn’t. I suppose this has also been a big joy, to really tune into each of our children and understand what their individual needs and interests are, and to be able to focus on these things.

Travel wise, we’ve had some amazing adventures so far. We really enjoyed our time in the small beach town of Trancoso in Brazil. It was the perfect place to slow down and discover the local traditions, foods, language, etc.

…..this has also been a big joy, to really tune into each of our children and understand what their individual needs and interests are, and to be able to focus on these things.

Courtney Adamo and her kids in the park

 

How did you prepare for homeschooling your children? How’s it going? What is the educational value you see in these really life situations/traveling?

It took a while to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I’ve always been an advocate of a loose schedule and not the type to obsess too much about education and rules.  We were already of the mind set that learning by doing is what’s important, not passing a test or getting a perfect grade, so this type of education really plays into that. We’re able to be flexible and be inspired by what’s around us and what the kids are interested in. In the desert in California we learned about the rock formations, how they were made, and the animals that lived in the environment. That’s the enormous benefit to learning while you travel, you can be flexible and not have to just follow the books. If your kids take an interest in something like lizards you can take that and use it, make it a math lesson. Where they may have been so much less engaged in the math classroom, if you can incorporate things they are interested in, you have their attention. I think anytime a child is interested, they learn so much more easily.

 

How did you plan for such a long trip with your family? 

We spent nearly 6 months planning for this trip. We started out by narrowing down the destinations and then purchasing an around-the-world ticket. It helped immensely to know where we were going and to have those decisions out of the way. We decided to spend the year in sunny, warm climates because we love the sun, but also because it would make it easier to pack for the year, without having to worry about cold weather clothes and coats, etc. Packing was pretty easy in the end. I packed shorts and tees for the boys, along with one hoodie and a waterproof outer layer. And swimsuits of course! For the girls, I just packed a lot of summery dresses, sandals and a couple cardigans for cooler weather. Each of the children has a very small suitcase, which they can wheel through airports on their own. Michael and I also have one suitcase, so it keeps all of our stuff organized. Because we sold our house and sold a lot of our furniture and general stuff, we had already narrowed down our belongings before the packing began. I suppose it all happened gradually, so that by the time we were ready to leave London and start our adventure, we were organized and ready. In terms of planning our accommodation, we spent a lot of time talking with friends who have traveled to similar places and getting personal recommendations. We’ve probably booked about 50% of the places we’ll need this year – the rest still need to be booked!! Hopefully it will all fall into place over the year.

Courtney Adamo and her kids walking on the beach

 

We love seeing your family on Instagram. What is your view on kids in social media? Does it ever feel weird that people you’ve never met feel like they know you?

When I have a real life encounter with people from social media, I actually find that really reassuring and encouraging. When I’m sitting on my couch at home, looking at my phone, it can sometimes feel strange that there are random people viewing my photos and commenting on them. But then, when you have a real life encounter with someone, and they are really lovely and like-minded, it reminds you of all the good people who are inspired by what I’m doing and who share interesting feedback and comments.

I started Instagram when I thought it was just for sharing photos with my family, and of course it has turned into something much different than that. There are moments now where I question why I do it (I’m sure lots of people feel the same), but then I’m reminded how nice it is to connect with other women and families from around the world. Being able to share photos with my family is still a bonus!

…when you have a real life encounter with someone, and they are really lovely and like-minded, it reminds you of all the good people who are inspired by what I’m doing and who share interesting feedback and comments.

 

What do you wish you knew before you started your business?

Because our business has grown gradually and organically over the last eight years, I would never have known how much work it would eventually require from me, or that it would become a full-time job for me and my business partners. I might not have jumped on board had I known, so I suppose it’s a good thing I didn’t!

 

What advice would you give to another mama looking to start a business with a friend? 

To make sure you have really good communication between you, that you can speak directly and openly with one another and that you understand from the onset what your roles and contributions will be so that expectations are always met.  Oh and it’s good to have a similar work ethic to make sure the working relationship is successful.

To make sure you have really good communication between you, that you can speak directly and openly with one another and that you understand from the onset what your roles and contributions will be so that expectations are always met.

 

+What are 3 things that have attributed to your success?

1. Hard work
2 .Business partners who have been supportive and encouraging (and who make working fun!)
3. Being innovative and receptive to change. Our company has grown because we are constantly thinking about how to differentiate from other similar businesses and how to meet the growing demands from our readers and shops.

 

You can learn more about Courtney on her heymama profile here, follow her travels on Instagram here, and Babyccino Kids here.

Blogger, Fashion, Lifestyle, Shopping, Travel

Mama On The Go: Top 5 Travel Essentials, Amanda Blakley Edition

June 18, 2015
cute mom son beach vacation

Summer travel season is upon us and we asked travel writer Amanda Blakley, writer for The Huffington Post to share her must have bag items.  Like someones house, it’s even more fun to peek into their purse.

#AmandasBag:

  1. Sometimes you’re from aiport to dinner in no time at all. A travel pouch, especially one as chic as this is essential. Whether you’re housing all of your cords and chargers, a little chanel lipstick, credit cards or your passport, this mini bag can fill all your needs.  We love heymama (and mama to be) Ela Aldorsson’s line of gorgeous bags. elabag
  2. The perfect day to night dress. This gorgeous Zimmerman dress goes from sightseeing in a metallic sandal to night out with just a change of a shoe. The crinkley silk fabric is perfect to roll up and pack. zimmerman
  1. A hat is a MUST when traveling – it’s great for hiding under when your tots draw unwanted attention, for blocking out the sun’s harmful rays or just for covering up a week old blowout – wait, what?In any case, I love this sea green felt Janessa Leone number from The Narwhal.

amanda2

  1. A gorgeous weekend bag makes you feel pulled together when you dash to the airport early morning coffee in hand. This one from Building Block and A Piece Apart is so pretty and feminine  you’ll want to carry it every day not just on travel days.

weekender

 

5,   A good camera – I’m currently lusting after this beauty. It’s true that an iPhone can take a mighty good photo these days, but sometimes it’s nice to ramp up the resolution (in case you want to print a large scale  version of a photo you shot as I plan on doing for Father’s Day this year – pat-on-back-to-myself). I recently made myself a promise that I would bring my SLR camera with me every time I go out with the kids so I can get in the habit of capturing our daily life – instead of just our travels.

amanda3

 

Don’t want to miss a day from Instagram (even though you probably should!!), you can purchase an international SIM card (like trpprmobile – www.trpprmobile.com) so you can stay connected (with unlimited texting and data) without spending a fortune on international roaming fees. You can use it to navigate to a local park, pediatrician or just to read restaurant reviews to ensure that adorable local bistro you spied will be welcoming/accommodating to children.

————-

About Amanda:

Juggling a young family, entrepreneurial pursuits and an insatiable appetite for travel and adventure, Amanda Blakley documents the unknown, unseen, and untouched for readers of The Huffington Post, The Tig and others. You can also catch up with her, and her chief adventurers at: www.theadventuresofatticus.tumblr.com and check out her heymama profile here.