Guest Editor: Eva Amurri Martino, Actress and Lifestyle + Parenting Blogger at Happily Eva AfterAs a self-employed working Mom who works primarily from home, I feel like I am constantly struggling with my own work/life balance. Marlowe is at the age now (almost ONE!) where she is very aware of where Mommy is at any given moment, especially when I’m working in my home office. I can hear the shuffle of her crawl as she makes her way around the corner to my office every hour or so. I end up feeling guilty to have to literally shut Marlowe out for hours of the day while she knows I’m right behind the door, but I also feel so lucky that I get to walk in to the next room and see my little baby if I ever need a squeeze. This dynamic has really encouraged me to make the most of my time with my daughter on the weekends and free days, and I have especially loved taking her on mother-daughter adventures. I find Los Angeles to be so wonderfully baby-friendly. With the excellent year-round weather, healthy food trends, and laid-back vibe, Marlowe and I are able to go on little outings that we both enjoy. Here are my greatest hits for baby-friendly adventuring in Los Angeles:FOOD
Granville Café: This restaurant features healthy Californian fare at its best. I love how spacious and easygoing this restaurant is. Your kid can drop food and cutlery on the floor and nobody bats an eye, and it’s way classier than McDonald’s! Marlowe loves the hummus appetizer.
Ink Sack: This place has hands-down the yummiest sandwiches around. There’s something for everyone, including super delicious home made Maryland crab chips! My favorite sandwich is the Pork Banh mi– it’s outstanding. You can eat here, but I prefer picking up some bagged lunches to go for our more far-flung adventures.
The COOP: This indoor play place is fun, easy, and cool. There is a ball pit and climbing structure with a slide, as well as a bouncy house, craft room, and outdoor play area that features a teepee reading nook. The hang area for parents even has magazines, a coffee bar, and wifi!
The Butterfly Pavilion @ The Natural History Museum: This extraordinary experience is a must-do! Running until September 7th, buying tickets to this exhibit grants you and your little ones access to a stunning butterfly habitat! Once inside, you are surrounded by more than 53 different butterfly species. Some may even land on you, making for an frame-worthy photo-op!
Underwood Family Farms: This farm is my pick for a more outside the box adventure. With a petting zoo, train town, hayrides, as well as pick-your-own fruit and vegetable fields, it is a family friendly activity for multiple age groups. They even have a farmer’s market to get your grocery shopping done on the run!SHOPPING
Earth Baby: This little local gem is my pic for earth-friendly and organic-loving Mamas! They have the largest selection of cloth diapering accessories in town, and lots of all-natural toys and bath products. I purchased Marlowe’s amber teething necklace here. Organic vending machines are on-site for a little afternoon sweet treat.
Eggy: Ask any stylish LA Mommy which local kids stores she loves and she is sure to include Eggy. The clothes and accessories in this boutique are so chic and beautiful that you’ll wish they made them in your size. I’ve found some sweet hair clips for Marlowe here, and it is also a perfect store for gifting!
Firefly Kids: This west side staple carries super cute, modern pieces for babies and kids as well as an impressive toy selection. I love going here to find unusual and adorable books.MY LA ADVENTURING ESSENTIALS:
- UPPAbaby Vista Stroller: I use this stroller with Marlowe and love how sturdy it is as well as having an excellently smooth ride. The basket is the largest of any stroller I’ve used and perfect for picking up souvenirs on your adventures with baby!
- Lollacup: This is my favorite sippy cup to tote around. It’s made of BPA free plastic, and features a straw with a sliding cap to cover and keep it clean! Plus, it looks super cute.
- Inglesina Fast Table Chair: If you get nothing else, get this! This was a random gift that I didn’t even register for, and it has been one of my favorite baby items ever. It changes the game when it comes to dining out with baby, since it puts them level with the table in a totally safe and secure position. They feel like they’re a part of the action and end up being much better behaved. This can be used as a regular high chair for space-challenged families, too!
- Snack Container: I love this one from Weestructed, and fill it with lots of puffs and crackers in case we hit traffic and the baby starts to have a meltdown.
- Tokidoki x Ju.Ju.Be Diaper Bag: This bag has it all. It’s machine washable, wipeable, and has tons of pockets and partitions. It also looks super graphic and cool which is extra Mama-friendly. We’re the ones who have to carry it around!