As a culture I feel we are collectively developing an interest returning to a more conscious way of life. We have rediscovered the value of healthy living, and are striving to make cleaner, green choices for our families- from the food we consume and products we buy, to how we spend our time. Most of us believe that it is important to unplug from technology and spend time out in the fresh air communing with mother nature, and we want our children to spend time exploring the outdoors untethered by modern distractions. However, between the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is easy to slip into a comfortable routine at home and put these adventuresome ideals on hold. Despite how it may appear on social media, my family struggles with all these same issues, and sometimes we just stay home in pajamas all day. But for the most part, we are pretty good about getting outside most days, and I thought I would share a few tips of our tried an true tips on how to implement more outdoor time into your own family’s daily life. The more you do it- the more it’ll become part of your routine too.
first of all you should go hiking, duh (bring water)
When in Joshua Tree, there’s nothing better than exploring the great outdoors and communing with mother nature, and the very best place to do just that is Joshua Tree National Park. There are two entrances to the park on this side: one is in 29 Palms, and the other is in Joshua Tree. Pick an entrance, and drive the route that connects to the other entrance. Stop along the way anywhere that catches your eye to boulder or hike – you can’t go wrong. If you have time, divert from your route a bit and visit the Cholla Cactus Garden, you’ll see acres and acres of teddy bear cacti and meet the friendliest little ground squirrels! If you have more time, escape the crowds and go for a longer hike, some favorites include 49 Palms Oasis, Lost Horse Mine, and Keys View.
(Note- Many restaurants here vary their hours vary seasonally so always check before you go!)
Where to Eat
A trip to Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace in Yucca Valley is a must. Pappy’s is a relaxed place with an Old West vibe specializing in delicious southwest fare. It’s also a concert venue that books an amazing mix of national treasures like Wanda Jackson, indie godfathers like Mudhoney and the Melvins, and Internet-crushing up-and-comers. It’s located in Pioneertown, a genuine Western movie set from Hollywood’s golden years that is always open to explore.
La Copine is the other must visor spot, you’ll have to travel off the beaten path to find this hip spot but trust me the food is so worth it!
It’s always laid back in the desert, but if you’re feeling supremely casual, pick up a smoothie & wrap from The Natural Sisters Cafe or a slice of New York-style pizza from Pie For the People and find somewhere beautiful to picnic!
Among the most commonly asked questions I get asked is how to deal with extreme heat and intense sun exposure for babies. Coming into my third summer living here in the Mojave, I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve that I figured I would share here for those that are interested.
As a conscious consumer, I love learning about new advances in eco-friendly options. I am concerned both about the materials my daughter may be exposed to through her sensitive skin, and for the general health of our planet. So I was honored and excited when Pampers reached out to me to be an Ambassador for their new Pure Collection– which means I am one of the first to get to try the new collection of diapers and wipes. The diapers feature plant-based fibers and other thoughtfully selected materials and the wipes are made with 99% water and a touch of premium cotton. The diapers are made without chlorine bleaching, fragrance and parabens.
Everyone has always told me that Pampers offers outstanding leak protection and fit, but I have actually never used them myself. So I am beyond thrilled that they came out with the Pampers Pure Collection– which is perfectly my speed. The Pure Protection diapers are made without chlorine bleaching, are hypoallergenic and are free of fragrances and lotion. And the Aqua Pure wipes are 99% water! I wish they would have launched this collection a couple of years ago as Prairie is currently getting potty-trained, so we won’t need diapers for too much longer! But she still wears diapers for naps and nighttime, which as you know are some of the most challenging times in terms of leak protection- so trust me when I tell you we got to give them a good testing out for all of you guys who are following along!
A couple of weeks ago, Prairie, Andy & I packed up and went on a weekend trip to the big city- aka San Diego. We actually visit San Diego pretty frequently, it’s where we lived for a few years before Prairie came along, and my sister and her family still live there. But we have always stuck pretty close to the neighborhoods of South Park / North Park / Golden Hill. So when my friend Rachel (aka the super-duper-mega-talented weaver behind Mr Blue Sky) offered to let us crash at her Airbnb, a sunny, art-filled loft in the hip downtown neighborhood of Little Italy. I was like “heck yeah!” And we were off to live my alternate reality dream life of living in a cool loft in a hip neighborhood, chilling with artists, eating at cafes, drinking craft brews, basically living the dream … but with our toddler daughter.
I knew that Little Italy was gonna be a great place to vacation but honestly was a little nervous that it was more of a hip adult spot then a kid friendly destination- but actually was proved delightfully wrong. Read on for more of our mini Little Italy adventure, and tosee more of Rachel’s lovely space.
Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about the health benefits of the cool new super food on the block: cacao! Which of course immediately peaked my curiosity because much like everyone else in the world, I love chocolate. Anyways, as much as I would love to try out a cacao ceremony, I don’t really partake in anything I can’t do without my two year sidekick these days. So I was super stoked when my friend Sarah (of @usdrifting) who happens to be a vegan chef (seriously she’s about to open a vegan cafe in Buffalo, NY), shared her recipe for these cacao treats. You can call them truffles to impress your friends at dinner parties, or Prairie just calls them balls (which makes me start singing “suck on my chocolate salty balls” in my head and laugh like a 12 year old every time). Either way they are delicious, nutritious, and sure to impress both the discerning palette of your toddler and your hipster foodie pals.
Last week, Prairie and I were visiting the home of my sweet friend Sara of @usdrifting. It was a hot day here in the Mojave, and Prairie and Sara’s daughter Stella inevitably ended up naked splashing in a tub of water. At one point Prairie put on Stella’s fairy wings and climbed up in their van to check it out. I snapped a quick pic of her little backside with her fairy wings on peering out of the van’s portal window. It was such an adorable moment and one of those serendipitous times when you just happen to pull out your phone and capture what turns out to be one of your fav pics ever.