I haven't heard or read much about whether Portland, Oregon is a family-friendly city. But we decided to visit Portland with kids and realized that Portland is weird and kids are weird. It’s a match made in travel heaven!
During a recent summer break with our 3 and 5 year old kids, we contemplated several locations for a week-long family trip from Los Angeles. The contenders were Hawaii, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Portland. We landed on Portland for several reasons: it’s a short flight from Los Angeles (and a great introductory flight for my daughter’s first plane ride), the hotels, flights and rental car are more affordable than other locations and there are lots of activities to keep us all entertained for a week.
In this comprehensive week-long family-friendly Portland itinerary, we'll guide you through our carefully curated selection of attractions and experiences which were fun for both children and adults in our family. You won’t find too many of the usual items on other travel guides because we generally like to avoid overly touristy and I hope you will learn about a new restaurant or activity to add to your Portland must-do list that you didn’t know about before.
It's a very exciting day--the lineup for BottleRock Napa Valley has been announced! Three day tickets are already sold out and one-day tickets go on sale on 1/12/2023 at noon.
When my husband and I went to BottleRock Napa in 2017, we were thrilled to see the number of children in attendance. While we didn't have kids of our own yet, we knew that we would want to start building our family soon. It was fun to imagine one day returning to BottleRock Napa with kids of our own.
Many people are surprised to learn just how family-friendly music festivals are. In fact, we took our son when he was one year old to Coachella and wrote a post about it called, "Take Your Baby: Music Festivals." At Coachella, other parents were happy to see our baby and told us that we inspired them to bring their own children to music festivals in the future.
Now, with our three-year-old daughter and five-year-old son, we are planning to head to BottleRock Napa for a single day. Because the atmosphere of BottleRock is more laidback, relaxed and spread out, it is the perfect first music festival for little ones. If you are contemplating taking your children to BottleRock, here is some important information to know:
Shortly before my son turned four, he decided that he wanted to wear dresses. He had seen his sister wearing dresses for two years and asked to wear a dress like her. So I pulled out a larger sized dress from the garage and put it on him. He wore it for an hour or two and then asked to take it off.
A few months later, he and his sister went to a Frozen themed birthday party and were requesting to watch the movie whenever they got screen time. My son asked to wear a dress so he and his sister could be Anna and Elsa. The two of them ran around in their dresses singing “Let It Go” for a good chunk of the morning. When it was time to go to school, he asked to take the dress with him so he could be Elsa with his friends. When he came home, he told me that his teacher wouldn’t let him wear the dress. That was my first glimpse into the fact that society hasn’t come as far as I had hoped in challenging traditional gender stereotypes.
My second glimpse took place last night at my parents’ house. My mom was talking about which dress she was going to wear to a party and my son said he wants to wear a dress too. My mom quickly responded with, “You can’t wear a dress. Boys don’t wear dresses,” knowing that that’s not what we believe in our family and not what we’re teaching our children. Thems were fightin’ words and I had to protect my son.
One of my core values and goals as a parent is to think critically about what I teach my children, not simply do things the way they’ve always been done, especially with beliefs and practices that do more harm than good.
My mom and I eventually hugged it out and I saw this as the beginning of a much longer conversation, a topic that will be revisited. I know that these deeply ingrained gender norms, toxic masculinity and fears of the feminine will take a lot of time and effort to dismantle. But the work needs to start somewhere.
5 Reasons Why I “Let” My Son Wear a Dress
The Take Your Baby series busts the myths and misconceptions of places and activities you aren't "supposed to take your baby." My philosophy is: if you loved to do it before having kids, you can do it now!
To many, babies and wine are like oil and water, they simply don’t mix. To others, like myself and the many kid-friendly wineries in Napa Valley, there’s no reason why you should give up the pastime of wine tasting when you add a baby or two to your family.
Wine tasting with babies in Napa is one of the things I get asked about very often. Over the past three and a half years since we had our son and then our daughter, we’ve gone wine tasting with them about half a dozen times, each time to a different winery.
Our most recent trip was on Memorial Day 2021 and that presented its own set of complications that stemmed from trying to explore while the world was figuring out how to return from the pandemic. Throw two toddlers into the mix who never want to sit still, and it was a recipe for a stressful afternoon.
In hindsight, I would say that we were not as prepared as we should have been and we learned what to do and what not to do when wine tasting with a toddler or baby.
Keep reading to learn my tips for wine tasting with a baby, toddler or kid and 15 family-friendly wineries in Napa Valley and beyond.
I can’t believe my daughter is turning one tomorrow and I will have two toddlers. Plus, it officially feels like winter in Los Angeles so I’ve spent the past few weeks working on her winter toddler capsule wardrobe, documenting the process and now I’m ready to share it!
Why Curate a Toddler Capsule Wardrobe?
I’ve personally been wearing a capsule wardrobe of about 30-40 pieces for five years and can sing its praises high and low--less stress getting dressed, less laundry to do and put away, better for the environment. So when I had children, I applied the capsule wardrobe approach to my kids; I’ve done an infant capsule wardrobe for my son and daughter and a toddler capsule wardrobe for my son and now my daughter.
What do I mean by "a realistic toddler capsule wardrobe"? Too many capsule wardrobe guides for toddlers include about 15-18 pieces total (one I found had 18 pieces total, four of which were shoes and one of which were sunglasses). Other than that, they include only 3-4 shirts, 3-4 pants and 3 pajamas and assume that parents will do laundry every day. That is so not me or any other working mom or dad I know. I am able to do laundry on one day a week, two if I’m lucky, and my kids’ clothes need to last until laundry day.
On top of that, toddlers are messy humans. They get food everywhere, they find and play with water any chance they get, they pee or poop through their clothes. In our house, my younger toddler goes through about 3 outfits a day plus pajamas. My older toddler is good with one outfit a day, sometimes two if we go on adventure to the dog park or beach, and a pair of pajamas. We are potty training our son and he’s been doing amazing but we’ve still allotted him two pants per day just in case.
Let’s do the math for my one year old’s capsule wardrobe: 3 outfits per day x 7 days + 1 outfit so she has something to wear on laundry day = 22 outfits (this can be any combination of tops, pants, rompers, etc.) and 7 pajamas. You can even do fewer pajamas if some of your every day clothes are comfortable enough for sleep. For fall and winter capsule wardrobes, we also need to think about outerwear. I usually include three sweaters, one raincoat, and one warm jacket.
Keep reading to learn about the process of curating a toddler capsule wardrobe.
Last year, after doing a bunch of fun stuff with our son that many people discouraged us from doing, I decided to start a series called “Take Your Baby” that debunks commonly held misconceptions about what activities parents shouldn't do and places parents shouldn’t go with their babies. I firmly believe that parents shouldn't feel forced to relinquish their interests and passions when we have babies, because giving up parts of your identity can only lead to resentment. Instead, parents should try to find ways to introduce their baby to their world as much as possible.
My last article, Take Your Baby: European Dining, focused on Michelin-starred restaurants, afternoon tea in London and the Parisian Grand Tasting. This time, I want to talk about music festivals, like Coachella and Bottlerock Napa.
With many of these music festivals rescheduled for the fall, there is still time for parents with tickets to decide whether or not to take their little ones.
My first of three miscarriages was in January 2017 after an unexpected positive pregnancy test. We hadn't been trying to get pregnant but we also hadn't been preventing since coming home from our honeymoon in October 2016. I didn't even think or know I was ready to have a baby until the positive test was staring back at me. And in that short week, between finding out that I might be a mom to miscarrying, my life had already changed--I had already dreamed a lifetime of dreams and hoped a lifetime of hopes, all of which came crashing down.
In an attempt to make myself feel better, I wrote the following list of reasons why I didn't want a baby yet (based on preconceived notions of what I thought motherhood would be like). I was scared that becoming a parent meant leaving everything I loved about my pre-baby days behind. Since our first baby joined us, I’ve discovered that it's a lot easier--and way more fun--than I had expected to introduce him to the activities we enjoyed together before he came along or having grandparents babysit him for us to go out and do things that he can’t do yet.
Before I share my misconceptions of motherhood (and my present-day rebuttals to pre-baby me), I want to preface the list to say that I am completely aware of my privilege and I know that many of these things would not be possible if I did not live close to family and did not have their support and a very hands-on partner in my husband. On the other hand, I'm a firm believer that we can design the exact life we want for ourselves through commitment, hard work and planning.