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    My Favorite Family-Friendly Places in Los Angeles

    Favorite Family-Friendly Places To Visit In Los Angeles | Oh Lovely Day

    Living in Los Angeles, I know how lucky I am to be a mom in a city with great weather 95% of the time. And with great weather come lots of cool places to visit that are mostly outdoors. So here are my favorite family friendly places to visit in Los Angeles for those of you who live here or are planning a visit.

    1. LACMA & The La Brea Tar Pits. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a great spot to visit for way more than art. Since it is in our neighborhood we’ve really gotten the chance to experience its full potential. You can grab a yummy latte or pastry at Coffee & Milk to drink while you watch your kids run around in the noodles. The noodles is actually an art installation that you can walk through and play in and everyone, young and old, loves to play hide and seek and take selfies in it. I have a taken a series of photos with Charlie in the noodles since our first visit there when he was around 18 months old, and with Calvin since he was in my belly, and shared them on instagram with the hashtag #charlielovestheyellownoodles so I could compare all of them over the years (or as long as instagram and hashtags are in existence).  This is definitely my kids’ favorite spot at LACMA.

    Favorite Family-Friendly Places To Visit In Los Angeles | Oh Lovely Day Favorite Family-Friendly Places To Visit In Los Angeles | Oh Lovely Day

    LACMA has an amazing program called NEXGEN, where kids are allowed to become members for free, and one adult is free with their membership as well, so we can basically go see any exhibit or activity that isn’t in a limited run (where you need to buy a special ticket). The LACMA campus is adjacent to the famed La Brea Tar Pits, so we walk through those to chat with the mammoths on our way to the museum. Charlie also loves to “climb the tree” and “roll down the big hill.” Basically there are about 50 kinds of fun in one spot, depending on his mood that day.

    I love to visit the Children’s Art Room, where you can paint and make messes and someone else cleans it up! Because I have a car-obsessed 4-year-old boy, we also visit the Metropolis II exhibit by Chris Burden (it’s like a matchbox car city on steroids that runs for an hour on and then an hour off on the weekends and is impressive even to grown ups).  We walk under what Charlie calls “the big rock” but everyone else calls Levitated Mass (I call it the Pisa of LA because tourists are constantly taking photos of themselves “holding up” the rock. Do it at your own risk of looking like a total tourist. But I did it in Pisa, and I’m sure the locals there think that’s lame too, so no judgement…) We also did a family photoshoot there just before I got pregnant with Calvin since it is one of our favorite places.

    Favorite Family-Friendly Places To Visit In Los Angeles | Oh Lovely Day

    Favorite Family-Friendly Places To Visit In Los Angeles | Oh Lovely Day

    A visit to LACMA is never complete without a visit to the “pretty lights.” We like to play hide-and-seek and take photos, and if you have the chance to see it at night it is breathtaking (but we’re rarely out after dark with the kids – it’s the plight of parents everywhere). And then we hop across the street to have lunch at one of the many yummy food trucks parked along Wilshire Blvd before we walk home. The LACMA Cafe is also really good for lunch.

    2. The Original Farmer’s Market & The Grove. I recommend that anyone visiting LA go to the Original LA Farmer’s Market. (It is over 75 years old!) You will find every kind of food represented. (Our favorites are Loteria, Charlie’s, and The French Crepe Company, but there are so many great spots.) It’s loud enough that your kids won’t bother anyone, and everyone can order food from wherever they want and then sit cafeteria style at one of the outdoor tables. There are also souvenir shops, coffee spots, and great people watching. Oh, and two beer & wine bars. Then walk next door to The Grove. The kids will love the Dylan’s Candy and the American Girl store, and if you go to the third floor of Barnes & Noble there is a children’s play area with lots of toys and books perfect for younger kids. Another huge hit with the kiddos—the koi fish pond with dancing fountains. There’s also a movie theater if you want to catch a movie.

    Favorite Family-Friendly Places To Visit In Los Angeles | Oh Lovely Day Favorite Family-Friendly Places To Visit In Los Angeles | Oh Lovely Day

    3. Griffith Park. Griffith Park is great in general. You can hike, picnic, and play. But if you have kids, the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round is a must-visit if you’re in the area. It was built in 1926, and Walt Disney used to visit with his daughters and was inspired to build Disneyland.

    A little boy with his father rides the merry go roundFavorite Family-Friendly Places To Visit In Los Angeles | Oh Lovely Day

    Both girls and boys will love the Travel Town Museum, located in Griffith Park. See retired train cars and engines, and you can even climb on a couple. There is a train ride and a museum. Oh, and it’s free (you can make entrance donations). It is perfect for both short or long visits, and is close enough to both the zoo and the merry-go-round that you could do them all in the same visit. We also frequently visit and love the LA Zoo, but if you’re visiting from a city that has its own zoo, you can skip it. (It isn’t the most impressive zoo I’ve ever been to.) But if you’d like to visit a zoo it is a fun place to spend an afternoon.

    Favorite Family-Friendly Places To Visit In Los Angeles | Oh Lovely Day

    Favorite Family-Friendly Places To Visit In Los Angeles | Oh Lovely Day

    Finally, the gem of Griffith Park is the Griffith Park Observatory. The kids will love exploring and learning about space, there’s a planetarium show and one viewing a day is for kids 4 and under, and the views are hard to beat. The on-site cafe is great for lunch as well. There are also some great hiking trails that start/end at the Observatory. Even if you don’t want to do a full hike with little ones, they will love exploring a bit of the trail.

    4. The Calfornia Science Center. A huge gem in the city is the California Science Center. With so much to do for kids of all ages, you could literally spend all day there if you want to. And the best part — it’s free! You do need $10 cash to park in the adjacent lots, but that’s nothing compared to what you get during your visit. There is just about every kind of activity you can think of related to science: from the human body to bugs, to sea life (with an aquarium), space, and of course, it is the home of the Endeavor. Definitely worth a visit.

    Favorite Family-Friendly Places To Visit In Los Angeles | Oh Lovely DayFavorite Family-Friendly Places To Visit In Los Angeles | Oh Lovely Day

    We also love to visit the Natural History Museum, which is on the same campus (so you can walk over after visiting the Science Center without paying more for parking). But it isn’t free. If you’re local, I highly recommend a membership (it gets you into the Page Museum at the Tar Pits as well!). The dinos alone are worth a visit but there is a great butterfly pavillion (seasonal) and lots of other things to see as well.

    5. Santa Monica Pier/Beach. My last pick is a hard choice because there are a few great beach locations with piers (Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, etc.), but I chose the Santa Monica Pier because overall it offers the most bang for your buck. Plus, it is the closest to the other locations in Los Angeles, and if you want to make it a day, its proximity to the Annenberg Beach House is perfect (another great spot on a warm beach day). There are fun rides, decent food, and beautiful views. Fun for all ages.

    Favorite Family-Friendly Places To Visit In Los Angeles | Oh Lovely Day Favorite Family-Friendly Places To Visit In Los Angeles | Oh Lovely Day

     

    What are your favorite places to visit in Los Angeles?

    (photo credits: photos 1, 4 & 9 by Jennifer Roper, all property of Chandra Fredrick)

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    Celebrating Baby #3 With a Baby Goodies Giveaway

    Baby Goodies Giveaway Celebrating  Baby #3 | ohlovelyday.com

    In case you missed the news, I’m expecting baby #3! And since we’re celebrating over here, I thought it would be fun to host a huge giveaway of all of the things I fell in love with during my first two pregnancies and newborn experiences (many of which I gave away thinking I was done having babies!) I know quite of you readers and followers are pregnant along with me, so I want to share my favorites with you. One lucky winner will get all of the following:

    1. Solly Baby Wrap and Swaddle Set: If you follow me you know how much I loved using the Solly Wrap with Calvin. I’m sort of addicted to them and was sad when he no longer would let me wrap him up. But for those first few months… it was the best! And now they have super soft and pretty matching swaddle sets. The best part is you get to pick both colors/prints that you want in your set. And the winner will get their choice of both!
    2. 4Moms mamaRoo: I pretty much love everything 4Moms does, but their mamaRoo, rockaRoo, and Breeze were essentials for me during that first year of baby’s life. The newest mamaRoo pairs with an app on your phone too. You can read more about how much I love it here.
    3. Freshly Picked Moccs: Every momma wants a pair (or ten) and every baby needs a pair. Calvin has several and they are the only shoes that stay on his feet. I can’t wait until he starts walking and gets even more practical use out of them. And baby #3 is coming just in time to get a pair from the Oh Joy! for Freshly Picked collection. Aren’t they darling? Winner get’s their choice of in stock moccs.
    4. Monthly Onesie Stickers & Memory Book from Lucy Darling Shop: I love documenting each month of baby’s life, and Calvin has both a set of stickers and a memory book (that is still blank, but I swear I’ll get to it!) from Lucy Darling Shop. There are so many choices in stickers (the new tutti fruity ones are so stinking cute!) and a memory book for either boys or girls (or gender neutral).
    5. The Ollie World Swaddle: For night sleep, there’s no better swaddle out there than The Ollie World. I’ve raved about this so many times and credit it and good luck for the reason Calvin has slept through the night from an early age. I love that it grows with your baby too, so you don’t need multiple sizes — just one will work for the entire time your baby is swaddled!
    6. Tubby Todd Bath Soap: I absolutely hate to use any products on my babies that aren’t natural or are full of chemicals and words I can’t pronounce. On top of it, Calvin had eczema as a newborn so I had to be very careful what I used on him. We are huge fans of Tubby Todd’s all natural formula and bubbles. The winner will receive a Tubby Todd Lavender Gift Set.
    7. Aden + Anais Swaddles and Sleeping Bag: You can never have enough swaddles and blankets, Aden + Anais make great lightweight muslin swaddles with adorable prints. Once Calvin was no longer swaddled we switched to their sleeping bags, which we also love. The winner will get their choice of in stock print of a classic swaddle set and classic sleeping bag.
    8. Puj Baby Tub: What’s cuter than a baby in a tiny bath tub? Nothing really. I fell in love with Puj’s tub when Calvin was a newborn and it was all we used for the first few months. It makes giving baby a bath so easy and it can hang flat, so it is great for small spaces as well.
    9. Wooden Baby Toys from Bannor Toys: I love baby toys that are unique, made of natural materials, and fun. Bannor Toys makes wooden toys that fit all of those and more. I love their blocks and rattles, especially the state rattles (Calvin has a California one, of course!). The winner will receive a $25 credit to pick out their own Bannor Toys.
    10. Baby Mobiles from Baby JivesI love dreamy mobiles for babies and Calvin loves his cloud mobile from Baby Jives so much. He still loves to look at it and talk to it. The winner will receive $50 in shop credit to buy their own dreamy baby mobile or other decor.
    11. Organic products for mom and baby from Zoe Organics: I have used so many of Zoe Organics products on myself (the belly oil, the everything balm, and the bath soak are staples!) and on baby as well. I especially love the baby bath tea. The winner will receive a $75 credit to purchase their own Zoe Organics products for mom or baby.
    12. Blankets + Apparel from June & January: Oh man do I love everything, and I mean everything, from June & January. Formerly Little Hip Squeaks, their hats, clothes, and blankets have been staples for Calvin. And if I have a girl this time I’m planning on buying playsuits and headbands in every available color! The winner will receive $100 credit to J&J to stock up for their own babe or kiddo.
    13. Fawn Design Diaper Bag: I’ve been on the hunt for a great and stylish leather diaper bag with a backpack option for ever! When I found Fawn Design I knew my search was over. And now that baby #3 is on the way, I’m definitely going to need to have my hands free for babies and kids, so their backpack style diaper bag has become even more of a necessity. And the winner will get one in their choice of black or brown!
    14. Body Pillow from Bump Nest: Wanna know my number one favorite thing right this minute? My Bump Nest body pillow. Pregnancy number 3 is no joke, and the pelvic and hip pain and reflux started early. I’ve been using my Bump Nest since week 8 and it is saving my sleep. I actually do sleep comfortably, thanks to the way this pillow elevates my head and cushions and supports my whole body. It’s heaven for pregnant women. The winner will get one and their choice of cover.

    So there you have it! Some of my favorite goodies for mommas and babies. I’m so excited one of you will win all of this fabulous stuff. The giveaway will run from 7/23/16 – 7/29/16 and the randomly selected winner will be displayed sometime on 7/30 in the entry widget below. Enter below and best of luck!

    Momma + Baby Essentials Giveaway to Celebrate Baby #3

    And I’d love any advice from mommas of 3 out there. I’m a little nervous :) Or guess the gender — do you think boy or girl this time around?

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    We’re Expecting Baby #3!

    Sharing some news... | Oh Lovely Day

    I have some big (and surprising) news to share… We’re expecting baby #3! And for those of you thinking “weren’t you like, just pregnant!?” Yes. Yes, I was.

    Sharing some news... | Oh Lovely Day

    While I did always want three kids, I was not expecting it to happen quite so soon. But sometimes the universe has a way of making things happen anyways, so here we are. While I was a little freaked out at first, mostly because I was not quite ready to relive the morning sickness, we are thrilled and excited to complete our family. It feels meant to be. And it was the biggest and best surprise I’ve ever had.

    Here’s a little video of us sharing the news with Charlie. I was a little nervous for some reason, but he made me realize another baby is just more love to share and that everything will be great.

    I’m 12 weeks along, and due 2/2/16 (although both my babies have come 7-10 days early, so I’m thinking end of January). So next up, is it another boy or a baby girl? We’ll see…

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       We had our first date 20 years ago today when we were practically babies in high school. We were on and off (and on and off and on and off) through college, survived a 3 year long distance relationship before there was FaceTime and when one of us didn't even have a cell phone. We've done 11 years of sharing a bathroom, almost 6 years of marriage, and now almost 3 babies. Some days have been so easy, and others are incredibly hard. Each day we make a choice to love each other and enjoy this beautiful life together. And to do it our way, following our dreams and raising our children to be open minded, good and kind people. Our way, ride or die, till the wheels fall off. Me and you. Happy 20 year date-a-versary my social media-less hunk of a husband.❤️ We should have gotten a sitter  //  by @hazelnutphoto from our gender reveal, which I'll be sharing next week!
       Had a super #happymail day thanks to the 2016 calendar preview from @papersource. At first I was all like "the color, the design, the pretty, oh my! " but then I thought "2016, January, due date, holy shit! " I feel like the next 6 months just flashed before my eyes. Slow down 2015. The calendars and planners are real purty tho. #mypscalendar
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