Santa Barbara

I will admit, when we moved to LA two years ago I had grand visions of weekend getaways every weekend to explore the entire California coast. We have gone on...a few...but on the top of my list has always been Santa Barbara. We finally decided to make it happen and booked a room at Hotel Santa Barbara.

It was important for us to find a hotel with a great location. Since we live at the beach, we didn't need to stay ON the beach in Santa Barbara. Instead, the most important factor for us was walkability. Hotel Santa Barbara is right smack in the center of State St (the center of it all!) A short walk west (literally 10 minute walk) to the beach and steps away from endless amounts of coffee, food, shopping, and incredible sights.

Stepping inside Hotel Santa Barbara I was immediately drawn to the colorful tile staircases and unique architecture. It looked like it was right out of a movie!

The stand out of the room was the brand new bathroom which was pristine! But truth be told, we didn't spend much time inside the room, as there was too much to see and do! But it was amazing to come back after a long day and relax in a beautiful and comfy room!

The first thing we did was check out The Santa Barbara Zoo. It was perfectly small for an almost 3 year old and she had SO MUCH FUN. There is an adorable train ride that goes around the whole zoo that she loved! Standout favorites were the gorillas and giraffes. There is also a play area for kids and tons of refreshments available throughout the zoo! We bought our tickets online and skipped the admission line, which is a nice little time saving hack!

Next on our list was State street. Which was great since the hotel was nestled right in the middle of it all! We walked up and down checking out all of the cute restaurants and shops. Everything from mom & pop shops to big names like Anthropologie, Free People and even a TJ Maxx! We walked up and down taking in the amazing architecture and vibe. It was amazing.

We had a dinner reservation at Bouchon and it definitely did not disappoint. It is always a little risky to go out to a nice dinner with a toddler but they went above and beyond to make sure Poppy was happy the entire time, so cool of them! There was a table next to us that was having a birthday party and Poppy was so intrigued, the waiter came by and dropped flower petals all over our table so Poppy would feel like she was a part of the party, they also brought her a little piece of cake, so nice. The food was amazing and the wine, too. YUM!

For breakfast the next morning we walked from the hotel to The Breakfast Culture Club which was awesome. It was airy, bright and spacious enough for Poppy to run around. The coffee was great and we got some awesome avocado toasts, yum! We explored a little more after and then went back to the hotel to check-out.

After checking out we drove a few blocks down to the water and took Poppy to the Moxi Children's Museum. What a place! She could have easily spent the entire day there, but we kept it down to 2 hours. The rooftop boasts amazing views of Santa Barbara, and there is just SO much to see and do there! It is definitely a must see for kids.

We could have spent a few more days in Santa Barbara for sure but I think we really got a nice taste of the area in our little weekend getaway! We can't WAIT to go back!


aura cacia

Becoming a mom 2.5 years ago was never my plan. In fact, I never even knew I wanted to be a mom. Before Poppy, my life was centered around my career. I did not want to do anything to veer away from what I had been working my whole life to achieve. Then one day, I just wanted a baby. Seemingly out of nowhere. It was as if Poppy was supposed to be mine all along and was just begging to be born. So, we got pregnant and in October of 2016 I had Poppy and my life changed. Mom life is everything and nothing I thought it would be. It is the hardest yet most incredible role I have ever played.

That being said, it is also the most important role. I have to make sure that I am constantly at my best (mentally and physically) so that Poppy can thrive. Aura Cacia helps me to elevate each day so I can focus on being the very best for my Poppy. I love relaxing after a (very) long day by diffusing oils in my diffuser. And I live for mid-day pick me ups by rolling some peppermint or eucalyptus on my wrists and neck.

Let's face it, being a full time mom is hard work. Me time is extremely limited and when I do find a moment to "relax" it is usually filled with getting everything done that I haven't been able to do. I have found that diffusing oils in our diffuser can really help calm and relax me after a long day. I put it right next to the bed so the room gets filled with the delicious scents.

To be completely transparent, I was totally in the dark when it came to oils. I did not know anything at all, but I was eager to try. The Discover kits are great for new users like me who may not be sure what they like or want to try a bunch of different oils.

With Mother's Day just around the corner, take the opportunity to give the Moms in your life something awesome because THEY are awesome!

Check out my gift guide on the MOMS WE LOVE page on the Aura Cacia website and pickup some treats for the mommas in your life (or some goodies for yourself too!!)


Eventi Hotel

Nestled in one of my favorite spots in NYC, is the EVENTI Hotel.  Walking distance to the dozens of stores on 34th street including the infamous 34th st. Macy's, the Empire State Building and Flatiron Building, this spot is IDEAL.

The Vine is a MUST eat inside of this hotel.  They boast an all-da menu of American classics with an Italian influence.  It looks more like an art installation than bar/restaurant, and is a great place to spend the day working, networking and of course eating.

Also inside the Eventi, is L'Amico.  It's simple & quaint interiors are backed up by delicious Italian fare.

romper BOOHOO

photos by JILL SHOMER



Having a toddler means ALWAYS being prepared with exciting things to keep them occupied, interested in, excited about.  This BABBLEBOXX was such a fun treat. Not only was it filled with amazing goodies for endless playtime, but Poppy also had so much fun opening the box and digging out each surprise one by one!

Lets dig into the box and explore these goodies, shall we?

SNAZAROO Brush Pens Face Paint

These face paints are PERFECT for toddlers. Besides being water based, fragrance free and super gentle on the skin, they are also SO easy to use (especially for someone like me who has ZERO artistic skills!)  They feature a twist action design (kind of like concealer pens!) and the paint gets distributed to the tip so you can paint with precision and NO MESS. Total win!  Poppy loves putting stickers on her face, so she wanted small designs painted on her face, like little stars and hearts.  Super easy to do with this brush pen and gentle on her sensitive skin.  We love all the different colors and at $9.99 a pack, they're an inexpensive fun way to spend the day! Pick some up at Snazaroo.com.

Dinosaurs Living In My Hair (Jayne M. Rose-Vallee Books)

Poppy LOVES to read, so we were so excited about these books.  DLIMH is a series of (award winning) books told in rhyme.  We love them because of their topics such as acceptance and bullying which inspire some great teaching moments for me. Poppy of course loved the zany characters and beautiful illustrations!

Get yours at dinosaurslivinginmyhair.com/ and use code FREESHIP for free shipping!

PEZ Jurassic World Collection

PEZ has always been one of my favorite candies!  I used to love collecting the dispensers and trying all of the flavors, so I was super excited about this addition to the box! PEZ is launching this awesome Jurassic World collection featuring three new dispensers: T-Rex, Blue the Raptor and Dilophosaurus.  Poppy couldn't take her eyes off the T-Rex (which was her favorite!)
You can find out more about the collection here.

SPROUT Crispy Chews

Snacks are a big favorite around here and unfortunately it's not always easy to find healthy choices.  We are obsessed with SPROUT's organic healthy plant powered snacks for toddlers.  Orchard fruit & Carrot, and Red Fruit Beet & Berry crispy chews are SUPER yummy.  They are crispy whole grain rice blended with fruits and veggies and taste oh so good!  Poppy powered through the Red Fruit Beet & Berry SO fast.  I think that was her fave!  Grab your own here and get 25% off crispy chews with code 25CRISPYCHEW (Thank me later YUM!)

ZENNI Optical Kids Flexible Glasses

Ok, I don't know if it's just me but Poppy is OBSESSED with glasses.  Anyone else's toddler just obsessed?  Anytime I wear mine, she pulls them off. Runs away with them (and yep ultimately breaks them haha) So we were SUPER stoked to get to try Zenni Opticals flexible frames kid's glasses.  Needless to say, Poppy was SO excited to get to have her own pair of glasses that she could be seriously rough with and not break them!

Learn more about Zenni Optical and their kids flexible glasses here.

We had so much fun opening and playing with our BABBLEBOXX! So many fun things to play with and enjoy.

This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx.com