Salt & Nectar

http://saltandnectar.com

We said goodbye to DC and hello to CA & KY to swap lifestyles and start families. Now, our imperfect but sweet lives as moms makes for good blog fodder. And of course we comment on media, fashion, food, and DIY too.

Sarah is a winner of Top 25 SoCal Mom Blogs

What's the best part about living in Southern California?

Living in Southern California is a pretty close to perfect because one gets to enjoy pristine weather, which fosters a healthy outdoor lifestyle. And the more one is outside of the house, the more one takes advantage of the cultural and geographic diversity the area has to offer. I truly appreciate living in a city where one can easily experience the beach, the mountains, and the dessert; the urban, the suburban, and the rural; and, most importantly, the languages, the foods, and the traditions of the people that are Los Angeles. It's a great place to be from and a great place to grow up because, speaking from personal experience, children really can lead a fuller, enriched life here based on the variety of interactions, experiences, and beliefs they are exposed to in their social and home life. And the constant sunshine doesn't hurt either.

What is your favorite activity to do with kids in your area?

Like mother, like son. Our absolute favorite activity to do together is to hit the beach. We're very fortunate to live a short drive from Santa Monica (less than 10 minutes, which is huge considering LA traffic!), so we're at the beach at least three times per week. We run along the water's edge, we dig holes and search for sand crabs, and we get knocked over by waves. When we need a break from the surf and sand, we stroll along the pedestrian walkway, enjoy the beach parks, or have fun taking in the sights and sounds on the pier. And if we're not at the beach, then you can find us at LACMA and the La Brea Tar Pits.

What's the biggest challenge of raising a child in your area?

Hmmm...this is a tough one to answer because I haven't experienced many challenges when raising a child in SoCal. However, I only have a soon-to-be 2 year old. Right now, the biggest challenge is finding a reliable babysitter. Although we live in a residential area with lots of families, neighbors still have a private city mentality, keeping vetted information that is helpful to new parents to themselves. So, I'm still looking for a regular sitter from my immediate neighborhood that I can call for help. In the future—besides the plight of the LAUSD—I imagine that building a sense of community may take a bit longer than if one lived in a small town because many people reside all over this geographically spread out city, so children won't as easily get to hang out after school and on weekends. Finally, I would have to say that being car-reliant in LA can be a challenge, but I'm determined to teach my son to view it as a walker's city so he continues develop as an independent explorer.

Can you recommend a stylish bag that is big enough for all the stuff moms tote around? Please share a link if you can.

The Sarahs

I love Marc by Marc Jacobs totes, and I personally use one that is a faux snake print leather which is easy to wipe off (the Sneaky Snake Franny Embossed Tote). Nordstrom, Zappos, and Piperlime generally offer a great selection of this brand's handbags. Because they're pricey, you can look out for the Piperlime sitewide sales or discount coupons. I'm also a big fan of bags that have a lifespan beyond the baby years, so we did a roundup of "who said anything about baby" baby bags. http://www.saltandnectar.com/theblog/2011/4/3/who-said-anything-about-a-baby-bags.html
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What's your favorite beach for families in SoCal?

The Sarahs

We love all beaches, but the SoCal beach our family visits the most is Santa Monica's famous beach. It's a ten-minute drive from our house. It's easy to find parking (there's even a convenient parking lot next to the beach, making it easy to unload all the sand toys for the day). We set up shop just south of the pier and enjoy digging, wading, and running. And after tiring of surf and sand, we walk or bike to the pier where our son enjoys the people watching, parrots, and carousel. Sometimes on the way back to the car, we treat ourselves to a lemonade and fries from Hot Dog on a Stick or a more refined snack from the Hotel Del Mar (the lobster club sandwich is delish). http://saltandnectar.squarespace.com/theblog/2011/7/13/california-v-kentucky-fun-in-the-sun.html
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How do you keep your kids involved with chores?

The Sarahs

My two year old absolutely loves cleaning and participating in chores, so I capitalize on his interest, incorporate it into his routine, and make it fun or use it as a teaching moment. In many ways, we try to emulate some of the Montessori philosophies he learns at preschool so we continue to encourage his independence. And I don't stress if he doesn't do the chore perfectly and instead thank him for his contribution because I'm more concerned with helping him develop a sense of team work and familial responsibility than expecting Martha Stewart-like cleaning talent at his age.
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What's the craziest or funniest thing you felt driven to do while pregnant and nesting? (If there's an image that goes along with your story, please share the link with us!)

The Sarahs

I cried to get into a pool I was so desperately in need of the weightlessness!
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