Eva Amurri Martino’s Los Angeles Adventuring Guide

Guest Editor: Eva Amurri Martino, Actress and Lifestyle + Parenting Blogger at Happily Eva AfterEVA MAIN PHOTOAs 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:pea in the pod granville 2FOOD

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.

Pitfire Pizza: Great pizza, excellent wine and beer on hand, and an extremely family-friendly vibe.  Everyone I know brings their kids here for a last minute meal.Pea in the pod The Coop 2PLAY

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!Pea in the pod Eggy 1SHOPPING

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.Pea In The Pod adventuring essentialsMY LA ADVENTURING ESSENTIALS:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

A Pea in the Pod Goes to London!

Harrods_02_hi_res Photo courtesy of Tim Griffiths for A Pea in the Pod

Photo courtesy of Tim Griffiths for A Pea in the Pod

Are you ready for some exciting news? You can now shop A Pea in the Pod at Harrods! Along with our A Pea in the Pod collection, our shop in the iconic department store will also house exclusive pieces from British maternity labels Séraphine, Isabella Oliver and Madderson London along with the Rachel Zoe Collection for A Pea in the Pod. We are so excited that now even more moms-to-be can spend their nine months is style! –Olivia

Read more from WWD here.

 

South Jersey Bumpstyle + Beauty Event

I’m so excited to be hosting a Summer Style and Beauty Event! On Friday, July 31st, I’ll be at our Cherry Hill, New Jersey Destination Maternity from 12 pm to 4 pm offering one-on-one style sessions. Plus, one lucky mama will have the opportunity to stock her closet with maternity must-haves by entering to win a $300 maternity wardrobe!

During my visit, a specialist from Mama Mio will be offering mini massages and sharing tips for dealing with common pregnancy skincare issues.

You can schedule a complimentary appointment by emailing events@destinationmaternity.com. I hope to see you there!  xoxo –Olivia

 

No Purchase Necessaey; See Entry Form For Details.

 

Glamorous Baby Sprinkle

Sprinkles are becoming increasingly popular to celebrate moms-to-be who are expecting their second (or third or fourth!) baby. Sprinkles are a great way to welcome a new addition and gift mom with a few necessities. I recently attended my girlfriend Michele’s fabulous sprinkle and thought I would share some highlights of the day and decor for those of you considering hosting or having one of your own!

Michele’s family and friends opted to throw a low-key yet completely glam white and gold sprinkle to celebrate Baby No. 2. The first thing I noticed upon entering the venue (a glamorous old world home in Lansdale, PA) was the lovely white and gold candy bar. Candy bars are a simple way to bring a party theme to life and this one was no exception!

245IMG_9750Before indulging in the sweets, guests noshed on hors d’oeuvres and sipped on sparkling grape juice. White and gold straws, plus mason jars and a beautiful apothecary drink dispenser added to the gorgeous vintage feel of the occasion.3I knew Michele wanted to wear white, so I suggested a Motherhood Maternity goddess maxi dress. I think she looked amazing for her special day and a maxi is the perfect baby sprinkle or baby shower dress that can be dressed up or down depending on your theme. This similar white maternity maxi dress is another great option.
65Michele’s whole family took part in the festivities, including her adorable four year old, Reia. I think incorporating your kids in the celebration of baby’s impending arrival is a great way to get them excited for becoming a sibling!
IMG_9746Are you planning on having a sprinkle or throwing one for a friend? I’d love to hear your party decor ideas! xoxo, Olivia

Must-haves for the Stylish Suburban Mama

liv

lunch date with Greyson at two months old

Last week, blogger and New York City mama Staci Acquasanta of Leather & Leops shared her must-haves for other metropolitan moms. I thought today I would share my picks for the suburban mom like me! Living in a small town in Southern New Jersey means having the best of both worlds; I get to enjoy the benefits of living in close proximity to both Philly and New York, but I also enjoy the quiet and community of my hometown. My family often makes weekend trips ranging from the local farmer’s market, to the beach, to the Philadelphia Zoo so my list is compiled of functional, sleek and stylish items that help us get to where we need to go and much more! Would love to hear about your picks in the comments below.- Olivia
Suburb Mom v2Car Seat: Britax B-Safe– I am constantly in the car and on-the-go in the burbs! I wanted an infant car seat that was safe, light and easy to use. It installs in a snap and can be easily taken in and out of the car, which is important since my husband also uses this seat in his car.

High Chair: Keekaroo Height Right– I searched and searched for a high chair that would fit with the decor in my eat-in kitchen and then I fell in love with this one! I decided that I did not want something that folded away, so the way it looked was important. I chose this espresso-wood highchair because it looks great and is durable. It’s also very easy to clean and will grow with my son, which is a bonus!

Glider: Graco Gliding Swing– This was a last minute splurge after we brought our fussy newborn home from the hospital; luckily, it was one of my best purchases! As far as bouncy seats go, it’s on the larger side. But since it glides, swings AND bounces… Greyson loved it! The seat is removable and it was great to keep Grey with me throughout my house. If you have the space, definitely go with this one!

Stroller: UPPAbaby Vista– On the suggestion of a friend, I invested in this versatile and sleek stroller. It comes with a bassinet and a toddler seat, plus it can transport up to three children with additional attachments— perfect for a growing family. Since we take lots of walks through our neighborhood and to the park, I love that it has a smooth stroll and the tires don’t lock up, even on grass and turf.

Diaper Bag: The Honest Carryall Satchel– This diaper bag is one of my favorites of all time! It’s super chic, has lots of secret pockets and doesn’t look like a traditional diaper bag. The changing pad has a zippered pocket to keep wipes and other diapering essentials, plus the lining is wipe-able so it’s easy to clean!

Bonus Must-Haves: 4moms Breeze Playard // Honest Organic Healing Balm // Basq Resilient Body Oils // Fisher-Price Kick and Play Piano Gym

 

 

Tips for Getting Gorgeous Maternity Portraits

Guest Editor: Martha Lynn Kale, Stylist and Lifestyle Blogger

A maternity photo-shoot can be a special way to commemorate your pregnancy. I love the natural and elegant portrait session of Austin based beauty blogger Martha Lynn Kale, so I asked her to share her best tips for getting photos you are sure to love. Martha, who is expecting her second child, incorporated her toddler son into the session, which I thought was both touching and a wonderful way to ensure your first child feels included. Read on for Martha’s tips on how to achieve your own gorgeous maternity portraits!012_20150603_MLKAs told by Martha:

There are three things that are most important for a maternity shoot: the photographer, lighting and outfit. My photographer, Melissa Glynn, is the photographer that shoots most of the content for my blog. I love what she does and am comfortable working with her; that’s key when choosing a photographer.

I wanted a bright and airy feel so we started in my bedroom because the lighting was great. We also shot in the nursery, which is mostly empty and has a great window with tons of natural light. My son Ford loves playing around in the baby’s room, so I knew he’d be in a good mood for the shoot, which is important too!

Choose an outfit that suits your style! The inner child in me has always wanted to wear a flower crown, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity and Margot Blair Floral absolutely knocked it out of the park. I went with all white to play up the flowers and this bohemian top from A Pea in the Pod was exactly what I envisioned! 004_20150603_MLK018_20150603_MLK022_20150603_MLK029_20150603_MLK024_20150603_MLK026_20150603_MLKSome additional things to consider for your maternity portraits are:

Know what you like. I think knowing what you don’t like in a maternity shoot is just as important as knowing what you do like. Consider creating a secret Pinterest board for you and your photographer to toss around ideas.

Make it mirror your personality. If you aren’t a very serious person, then don’t plan for an overly serious shoot! If it suits your personality you will feel the most comfortable and that will show in the photos.

Trust your photographer and be open to their ideas. Melissa talked me into doing a few classic shots featuring the belly, which I didn’t think I would like.  But of course I absolutely loved them and am so glad we did it.

Don’t wait too late! I broke this rule and waited a little too late (mostly because I couldn’t commit,) but I would recommend doing the shoot once you are fully showing, but before you get to the bitter end and start feeling super uncomfortable!

Hope these tips help to inspire your own maternity photo-shoot! -Martha

Must-haves for the City Chic Mama

Guest Editor: Staci Acquasanta of Leather&Leops, Blogger and Stylist

Fashion blogger and new mom to baby Dylan, Staci is one of the most stylish NYC mamas I know! I kept up with her maternity style and her interior design skills (baby Dylan’s nursery is gorge!) during her pregnancy, so I knew she’d have some amazing must-haves for her little man. I was so excited when she agreed to share her city-perfect picks as Guest Editor for today’s post!IMG_0942Hi! My name is Staci and I have a 5 week old precious baby boy named Dylan. I live in SoHo, New York City and so far have loved raising a baby in the city. While there are some things that can be challenging, I love the energy of the city and all that if offers! Walks outside have become a part of our daily routine and Dylan is already acclimated  to the loud noises and hustle and bustle. Here are a few items that are my must-haves for a chic mom in the city!City Mom v2StrollerBugaboo Cameleon– Hands down, this is the perfect city stroller. It is chic, yet versatile. It has many useful and multi-purpose features like the bassinet, chair and car seat attachment options. It makes for a smooth stroll on even the bumpiest of NYC sidewalks.

Diaper Bag: Prada Baby Bag– When choosing a diaper bag, I wanted something that would match my style and taste, but also be functional! This one is the ultimate combination. It’s chic but can be easily cleaned, compact but has tons of pockets, and includes a changing pad for a quick diaper refresh anywhere. I can stash my favorite Aden & Anais swaddles in there too!

High Chair: Peg Perego Siesta– I took the advice of all of my friends and sprung for this high chair! How could I not? It’s portable, easily cleanable, and will grow with my little one. Bonus: it folds up to half of its size, so it is perfect for small city spaces.

Car Seat: Nuna Pipa– I wouldn’t trust any other car seat to keep my little one safe on the crazy city streets. It is super lightweight for carrying and has the easiest installation. The awesome seat belt/no base needed installation is perfect for in and out of taxis.

Carrier: Ergo 360– I do a lot of walking, so a good carrier is essential! This one is easy to put on, lightweight, and provides the best support and comfort for both me and Dylan.

Bonus Must-Haves: Fisher Price Rock’N’Play // Purell Hand Sanitizer // Sleep Sheep // Skip*Hop Central Park Outdoor Blanket 

The Honest Company Loves Destination Maternity!

Team members from The Honest Company, including Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer Christopher Gavigan, came to visit Destination Maternity’s headquarters last week, bringing along some fun surprises! Christopher and team started the day bright and early to decorate our lobby with balloons and flowers.

Christopher hosted several meet-and-greets with our associates throughout the day, sharing the backstory of some of Honest’s best-selling products, many of which were created as a result of customer feedback. Each Destination Maternity team member received a tote bag filled with goodies including a trio of Honest’s lip balm, hand sanitizer spray and the healing balm- my personal favorite which has also received Allure’s Best of Beauty award. Head over to our Instagram for more photos from this most exciting and memorable day!

Have you ever used The Honest Company’s products? If so, share your favorites in the comments section below. – OliviaIMG_96792IMG_97243IMG_9688IMG_9718IMG_9701IMG_9704IMG_9685

Surviving a Day at the Beach with a Toddler

My son Greyson is full of energy and has a loving and cheerful personality. Being a toddler though, meltdowns, rants and toy throwing are all becoming a normal state of affairs in my house. So now, going ANYWHERE with him takes careful preparation and planning. If you’re already a mom and have been through this stage, you get it. If not, you’ll soon come to see exactly what I’m talking about.

A few weeks ago we took our first beach trip this year. Before baby, my husband and I would drive to the beach without a moment’s notice and with no thought at all other than what bikini or bathing suit we should bring; how times have-a-changed! With a two year old in tow, a beach day takes not only more planning but many, many, many more bags! We quickly realized things we are going to do differently the next time.  Read on for some of my tips (that we will surely be using next time) for a trip to the beach with your kiddos.246Prepare the night before: Even though we talked about going to the beach the night before, we waited to pack until the morning. Fools! Grey woke up late (thus so did we). Secondly, everything inevitably takes longer than expected. I had to pack our beach bag(s) including changes of clothes and towels, organize our beach chairs and toys, prep snacks, and get myself ready. Sorry hubs, but a mismatched bathing suit and cover-up is just not going to happen! Mama needed some glam time before hitting the beach. Lesson: Definitely pack the night before and even load chairs and toys in the car to save even more time.

Bring baggies, many baggies: An hour late, we did finally get out the door to meet up with friends. We had a full day of fun soaking in the sun, playing in the sand and taking dips in the ocean. As we started to pack up to call it day, I realized I forgot to pack plastic baggies and I had nothing to throw our wet suits or left over snacks in.

Don’t forget the baby powderMy girlfriend who has two older children shared a little secret with me as she watched as I struggled on a small beach towel covered in sand to get my son out of his diaper and still wet swimsuit: baby powder helps to easily remove sand from squirmy tots! We will definitely be including that in our beach bag for our next trip.

If you have any summer mommy secrets you’d like to share, please let me know… I’m all ears! -Olivia

 

The Potty Chronicles // Dare to be Diaper-free

Our potty training journey has finally begun! Grey’s 2nd birthday was last month, so we’ve already started preparing for THE POTTY! Along with his age, Parents Magazine’s 10 Things to Know About Potty Training also helped me recognize that Grey was ready to start his training. He has started to dislike being in diapers, is pretty regular and can stay dry for a few hours. Woot-woot!  Step one: Purchase the potty. He loves it; that is…..he loves pretending to use the potty. A good first step in my opinion!

Step two: Teach him how. My husband shows him what to do and we ask every time we think he’s ready. His usual answer: “NOOOOOOO,” in the cutest toddler voice EVER! On the few occasions we have gotten him to sit, like last weekend, the pee-pee didn’t actually end up in the potty; the first of many accidents I’m sure. We had a good laugh though!

Step 3: Keep trying. For his birthday Grey received The Boys’ Noisy Potty Book. It’s a super simple guide with fun noises explaining how to use the potty and there is one for girls, too. He loves the book so much, I’m thinking we might get him a potty that makes a noise, flushes or plays a song! Combined with a daily reading and a prompt for him to use the potty, I think we are on our way!

I’ll be posting updates, so follow us along on The Potty Chronicles, and if you have any tips for us, please pass them my way! –Olivia

  • I'm OLIVE CAPONE MYERS, Style Director for Destination Maternity and lover of all things simple yet stylish!
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