Mommy Test Drive

A place to check out new products, resources, recipes, experiments, general hilarity and useful life lessons learned as I mold my identity from Chicago Career Lady to SoCal Stay-at-Home Mommy.

Erin is a winner of Top 25 SoCal Moms - 2012

In what ways is SoCal unique from other places you've lived or traveled?

We just moved to suburban Los Angeles from downtown Chicago in January, so just about everything feels unique and different to us these days! I love that Southern California is full of “doers.” Maybe it’s the year-round great weather, but there’s a very strong positive energy here that motivates me to be my most creative self, to explore my greatest potential and to get out there and “do” something every day. It makes me happy that this energy also trickles down to my toddler daughter!

What's the biggest misconception about living in Southern California?

Probably that it’s crawling with celebrities everywhere you look. I’m still waiting for my first big star encounter. Hey, Snoop Dogg: call me if you perform at play dates--I’ll bring the Cheerios, you bring the fruit snacks!

What's your favorite affordable outdoor activity to do with your kids?

My absolute favorite aspect of living here is the huge variety of options we have for affordable outdoor activities. I’m a big proponent of getting kids outside and away from TV and video games, so we’re definitely in the ideal locale for that. From skiing to hiking to boating to beaching to driving out to the desert, you can expose your kids to just about all that Mother Nature has to offer.

That said, I absolutely love the peaceful simplicity of our daily evening walk through the neighborhood with my daughter and our dog. My 18-month-old is just starting to talk and loves pointing out the flowers, grass, birds and squirrels. Coming from a big city where we didn’t have much in the way of natural surroundings, something as basic as a walk outside is really fun for a toddler who’s seeing it all with fresh, curious eyes. It’s also a great way to wind down and get those last bits of toddler energy out before bedtime!