Cute and Creative Themed Baby Gift Baskets 0
Are you looking for creative baby shower gift ideas? Themed gift baskets, bundles, boxes or sets make the perfect gift for babies and moms- and dads-to-be. Pick a theme based on something cute and fun, maybe something the baby's parents are in to, and create a bundle from there!
Start with a cute basket. box, bin, container, or hamper, that coordinates with your theme, and fill it with fun and useful baby items like clothing, toys, teethers, books, accessories, decorative items, night lights, blankets, bibs, burp cloths, pacifiers, and more.
You can also include essential items (great for filler for larger bins), such as diapers, wipes, toiletries, swaddle blankets, etc.
Here are three themed baby gift basket ideas based on three of Kabana Kids' Beachy Baby Bodysuits -- Pineapple, Surfer, and Mermaid.
Pineapple Themed Baby Gift Basket
For our Sweet Pineapple themed gift basket, we used a small pink and white bin and filled it with cute pineapple products. You can also use this large pineapple print storage bin (pictured in the back) if you have lots of items to fill it with (this would be a good one for including large packages of diapers). Pineapple themed items include Kabana Kids' Sweet Pineapple Beachy Baby Bodysuit, a pink bow that matches the onesie, a coordinating pineapple plush toy, (the cutest ever) pink sparkly pineapple embellished sandals, a yellow pineapple teether, pineapple print sun hat, pineapple swaddle blanket, and a pineapple baby wipes holder.You can get our Sweet Pineapple Beachy Baby Bodysuit here! Our little matching Sweet Pineapple plush will be available soon. Other items can be found on Amazon.
Surfer Themed Baby Gift Basket
This one is perfect for surfer families with a little surf baby on the way! We started with Kabana Kids' Surf Baby bodysuit (get it here) and found some cute surf-related items that coordinate with it. For the basket, we used a great storage bin with waves on it (at Target). We filled it with our surf baby onesie, a blue waves blanket (coming soon), light-up surfers bath toy (Target), toy ring (Target), nautical teethers, little toy crabs, and "Surfer Baby on Board" car sign (all on Amazon).
Mermaid Themed Baby Gift Basket
For a mermaid themed baby gift basket, we found this adorable mermaid storage bin (on Amazon) and filled it with goodies that coordinate with Kabana Kids' Mermaid Vibes bodysuit (get it here). Items included a crocheted mermaid tail, mermaid themed head bands, mermaid pacifier holder, mermaid doll, and "Three Little Mermaids" book (all on Amazon).
- Lori Granieri
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Potty Training Tips, Tricks and Tools 0
Ready, Set, Potty!
Potty training is something all parents engage in with their children at some point. It’s a major milestone for your child, and one that takes a little practice. It’s one of those experiences that take a child from baby to big kid. It’s something to celebrate!
There are several approaches to potty training, and all parents will do what works best for them and their child. We have compiled some lists of helpful tips when it comes to potty training.
Here are a few tips, tricks, tools and tidbits to help your little one through the potty training process.
Potty Training Readiness Signs:
- Showing an interest in pottying in the toilet
- Showing signs of wanting to be more independent in general
- Ability follow directions
- Not liking the feeling of a dirty diaper
- Asking you to change his or her diaper when it’s soiled
- Having an awareness of needing to go potty
- Talking about going potty, or telling you that he or she is going or has gone potty
- Having long periods of time when his/her diaper is dry/clean (especially when waking up in the morning or after a nap)
- Expressing an interest in wearing big kid underwear
Potty Training Success Tips:
- Make it fun, interesting
- Read your child’s signs/cues
- No pressure
- Keep it casual
- Talk about it
- Make it fun
- Celebrate successes
- Be prepared, patient, positive and persistent
Potty Training Products
Here are some fun products that can help with the potty training process.
Potty Chair – there are tons to choose from, including the little stand-alone models and the kind that are placed on the toilet. Some make sounds or play music. Some flush. Some feature fun characters. There are even some that include an iPad holder.
Pull-up diapers –part diaper, part underwear, they allow your child to easily pull them down when they need to go the toilet and pull them back up when they’re finished, like real underwear. And, if they miss the opportunity, the diaper part takes over.
Big kid underwear – take your child shopping and let him/her choose them. My daughter enjoyed picking out several packs with her favorite characters, then putting them in her drawer after I washed them. She wanted to start wearing them immediately, which was great potty training incentive.
Potty training sticker chart – there are several you can buy, download or emulate online. We made our own and hung it in the bathroom. We bought fun stickers, and let our daughter put them on the chart every time she went potty in the potty chair or toilet.
Books and DVD’s – our favorites included Everyone Poops, by Gomi Taro, Where’s the Poop?, by Julie Markes, Potty, by Leslie Patricelli, A Potty for Me!, by Karen Katz, and Elmo’s Potty Time DVD.
Toys – The Little Mommy Princess and The Potty Doll, which comes with a flushing toilet (“now you see the potty, now you don’t!”), a little sipping cup and hand sanitizer. Our daughter loved having the doll “go potty” and then flushing the toilet to see the potty disappear.
Waterproof mattress cover – this is a must in order to protect the mattress.
When it comes to potty training, you provide the incentive, opportunity, and expectations, and your child will do it when he or she is ready. Like the famous book says, everyone poops (and pees) ... in the toilet eventually.
It will eventually click. Meanwhile, have fun, and enjoy the learning process.
- Lori Granieri
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Family Travel Destination: Catalina Island 0
Catalina Island is a fun travel destination for families with kids of any age. Whether you visit overnight, for a weekend, a few days, or a week, you’ll find plenty to do.
Just 22 miles off the California coast, Catalina Island is 22 miles long and up to 8 miles wide. It takes about an hour to get there by boat (or 15 minutes by air). Boats leave year-round out of ports in Long Beach, Dana Point, Newport Beach, and San Pedro. For my family, the boat ride to and from the island was a fun and memorable part of the trip.
Once you get to the island, you’ll instantly notice how cute and quaint it is. It’s pretty small with hills off in the distance, a charming little town with lots of shops and restaurants, little strips of beach, a pier, and the most spectacular views from everywhere.
The main town on Catalina Island is Avalon (there’s also the unincorporated community village of Two Harbors). Avalon’s main street is Crescent Avenue, where you can walk around, shop, eat, visit the beach, and enjoy stunning views.
While you’re there, you may want to try some of these family-friendly activities: taking a boat or submarine ride, renting a golf cart to explore the island, relaxing and playing at the beach, shopping, visiting a museum, playing miniature golf, and more. Here are a few recommendations:
You can choose from a variety of sea-going activities, which you can book and access from the centrally located pier, the Green Pleasure Pier. We loved the submarine ride, Undersea Expedition, where we got to go under water and look at lots of fish through the windows. See http://catalinatours.com/tour/undersea-expedition/
Other boat adventures include the popular glass-bottom boat, Ocean Runner dolphin watching tour, nighttime Flying Fish Tour, Sundown Isthmus Cruise, and if you really want a true ocean submersion experience, the Sea Trek Walking Tours and “Snuba” – not something I’m willing to try. You can also go snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, or paddle boarding.
One of the most favorite things my family did when we there was rent a golf cart to drive all over the island. You can follow the map the rental company gives you to go on a self-guided scenic tour. It takes you way up in the hills where you can stop and take in the most beautiful views. You can also venture off and explore more of the island, such as through residential streets and other hillside areas. Visit http://www.catalinaislandgolfcart.com/.
Other options for exploring by land include walking, hiking, or renting bicycles, as well as taking tours by Jeep, Hummer, or bus. Visit https://www.catalinatours.com/.
Catalina has a few cute little beaches, including Descanso Beach (mentioned below). The main beach is Crescent Beach, which is right next to the Green Pleasure Pier, from where many of the sea excursions depart. There are no big waves at these beaches, so swimming, playing or floating in the water is ideal. It also makes it really nice for young kids. Our daughter enjoyed collecting shells, rocks, and sea glass there.
Descanso Beach Club
Descanso Beach Club is a beautiful and fun cove beach with stunning views. You can lie out in the sand and play in the water there. They sell all kinds of whimsical rafts and tubes in the gift shop. You can also rent a cabana or chaise lounge chairs.
It’s a lot of fun to have lunch at the outdoor restaurant, where the food is delicious, and the setting and views are amazing. My daughter enjoyed her first mocktail there, a Virgin Strawberry, Mango, Coconut Daiquiri. See http://www.visitcatalinaisland.com/activities-adventures/descanso-beach-club
Catalina Island Museum
If you’re interested in learning about Catalina’s history, visit the Catalina Island Museum, which is in a gorgeous new building (the New ADA Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building). The museum includes over 18,000 square feet of exhibit space and features artifacts from and about the island. Museum staff engage kids by giving them a treasure hunt/fact-finding task to earn a prize at the end. The museum is located at 217 Metropole Avenue, and is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. See http://www.catalinamuseum.org/
More Catalina Island Adventures
Other fun activities to consider, if you’re interested, include rock wall climbing, zip-lining, miniature golfing (at Golf Gardens), and touring the iconic Catalina Casino, which also has a movie theater that shows a first-run movie each night.
Catalina has tons of cute little shops, most of which are on Crescent Ave. and adjoining side streets. Your kids will be happy to know that there is a great toy shop, at 233 Sumner Ave., right off Crescent Avenue (near the intersection of Sumner and Beacon St.). Island Toy Store Plus More is a darling little shop with all kinds of toys and goodies (and a small section of goodies for pets). There are also several souvenir and gift shops, clothing stores, a general store, and other shops and boutiques.
There’s lots of great food on Catalina Island! Here are just a few suggestions (all on Crescent Ave.):
Luau Larry’s – a casual, tropical bar and restaurant, it serves burgers, sandwiches, sea food, salads, appetizers and specialty cocktails. See http://www.luaularrys.com/
Blue Water Grill – on the water with gorgeous views and great food, including all kinds of fresh seafood. See http://www.bluewatergrill.com/locations/catalina-island
Antonio’s Pizzeria and Cabaret – waterfront with excellent Italian food. See http://www.catalinahotspots.com/original_antonios/
If you have kids, you will most likely visit Lloyd’s of Avalon Confectionery, which has delicious and beautiful candies of all kinds, including their renowned saltwater taffy, caramel apples, fudge, chocolates, and ice cream. It’s located at 315 Crescent Ave.
Other places to get sweet treats: Scoops Homemade Ice Cream (505 Crescent Ave.) and Avalon Bake Shop (122 Catalina Ave.).
Getting to Catalina Island
We took the Catalina Express out of Long Beach. It was an enjoyable, comfortable, smooth, hour-long ride. http://www.catalinaexpress.com/
There are lots of hotels in Avalon, and most are within walking distance of everything. I would recommend staying at an ocean-front hotel (on Crescent Ave.), steps from the beach and everything else. Here are a few:
Hotel Mac Rae
Hotel Vista Del Mar
Another option that looked interesting was the Catalina Cottages (via the Hermosa Hotel), which are located right next to the new Catalina Island Museum (131 Metropole Ave.). These are affordable, studio apartment style rooms, some with kitchens. See http://hermosahotel.com/
- Lori Granieri
- Tags: california family trips catalina island Catalina Island adventures catalina island for kids catalina island with kids family adventures family trip to catalina island family vacation family weekend trip fun things to do on catalina island kid friendly california trip kid friendly catalina island kid friendly vacations plan a catalina island vacation planning a family vacation to catalina things to do with kids on catalina island vacation with kids
Fun Fourth of July Foods 0
Red, White, and Blue Smoothie
- Red: crushed ice, strawberries, a little bit of milk or coconut milk
- White: crushed ice, bananas, milk/coconut milk
- Blue: crushed ice, blueberries, milk/coconut milk
4th of July Breakfast
Red, White, and Blue Fruit Platter
Star-Shaped Mini Sandwiches for 4th of July
Festive 4th of July Appetizers
Red, White, and Blue Bell Pepper Nachos
More 4th of July Appetizers
American Flag Seven-Layer Dip
4th of July Cocktails and Mocktails
- Lori Granieri
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Adorable Onesies for Adorable Babies 0
Kabana Kids’ collection of Beachy Baby Bodysuits features cute, original designs silkscreened on soft, 100% cotton one-pieces. Our first Summer 2018 Collection includes Sweet Pineapple, Surf Baby, Stars and Stripes, Beach Baby Waves, and Mermaid Vibes. More are in the works.
Our onesie designs are playful, whimsical, fun, cute, beachy, kind of cartoony, colorful, and happy. They come in sizes 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, and 12-18 months. We will soon be adding designs in toddler and big kid t-shirts as well. Several of our designs are gender neutral.
We will also be adding a fun, beachy holiday collection of onesies and t-shirts.
- Lori Granieri
- Tags: adorable baby clothes adorable baby onesies beach baby bodysuits beach baby goods beach baby onesies beachy baby bodysuits beachy baby onesies cute baby bodysuits cute baby clothing company cute baby onesies mermaid baby onesie new baby product company pineapple baby onesie sea life baby onesie surf baby onesie Ventura baby boutique Ventura baby company
Family Travel Destination Spotlight: Ventura, California 0
Located on the California coast, between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Ventura has a casual beach town feel and lots to do and see.
There’s something fun for families with kids of all ages – lounging on the beach, cruising the boardwalk, bike riding, kayaking and paddle boating, boat trips and whale watching, playing at the park, shopping, listening to live music, and much, much more. Here are just a few of the many fun things for families to see and do in Ventura.
Ventura Pier and Beachfront Promenade
The Ventura Pier and Beachfront Promenade (at Harbor Boulevard East of California Street) are perfect for strolling, sightseeing, and enjoying beautiful scenery.
One of California’s oldest wooden piers and designated a Ventura Historic Landmark, the Ventura Pier features interpretive display panels, benches, restrooms, and amazing views of the Channel Islands, coastline, and mountains.
It includes two restaurants, Beach House Fish (previously Erik Erikson’s), with an upstairs deck, fish market, and gift shop (www.beachousefish.com), and Beach House Tacos (www.beach-house-tacos.com), in a casual outdoor setting.
The Ventura Promenade is a pathway that runs between the Ventura Pier and Surfers Point beach. You can rent bicycles or surreys for riding along the path. Visit www.wheelfunrentals.com.
The beach next to the Pier has a playground with swings and climbing structures, making it a favorite beach for families.
Go a few blocks inland from the pier and promenade (straight up California Street), and you’re in Downtown Ventura. The downtown area is located primarily on Main Street, as well as on a few side streets. It features lots of great shops and restaurants, a movie theater, and the San Buenaventura Mission (www.sanbuenaventuramission.org). Visit http://downtownventura.org/. A free trolley runs from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (www.venturatrolley.com).
The Ventura Harbor is located off Harbor Boulevard, and includes the Channel Islands National Park and Visitor Center, Ventura Harbor Village, Surfer’s Knoll Beach, and Harbor Cove beach.
Ventura Harbor Village (www.venturaharborvillage.com), located on the Channel Islands Coast, at 1583 Spinnaker Drive, is dubbed California’s Seaside Village. It features a beautiful marina, several shops and restaurants, live entertainment, and recreational activities.
While you’re at Ventura Harbor Village, you and your family can:
- Enjoy live outdoor music performances
- Take funny photos with some fun photo op face cut-out props
- Look across the harbor through a telescope
- Rent a boat, paddle boats, or kayaks
- Take a Harbor Cruise
- Go on a whale watching excursion
- Play in the arcade
- Ride on the carousel
Some family-friendly Ventura Harbor Village restaurants include:
- Brophy Bros. Restaurant & Clam Bar – fresh seafood, famous clam chowder, fresh sourdough bread
- 805 Bar & Grilled Cheese – gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, soups, and tapas
- The Greek Mediterranean Steak & Seafood – traditional Greek cuisine, fresh fish, and gourmet burgers – inspired by the isle of Santorini (in the evenings live entertainment features Greek folk musicians and belly dancers)
- The Parlor Restaurant and Soda Fountain – classic, burgers, hot dogs, and a 1940’s vintage-style soda fountain
And for dessert…
- Coastal Cone Ice Cream – they have more than 40 flavors of ice cream, plus custom made sundaes, Dole Whips, and more, and they make their own waffle cones in-house.
More Ventura Harbor Locations
Across the street (on Spinnaker Drive) from the Ventura Harbor Village is the beach. Directly across is Surfer’s Knoll Beach, where the surf breaks at the Santa Clara River Mouth. Next to that is Harbor Cove Beach (Mother’s Beach), named one of the safest beaches in Ventura. This beach is very popular with families, is framed by the jetty, and is a great spot for watching boats going in and out of the harbor.
Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center
Across the street from Harbor Cove Beach (1901 Spinnaker Dr.) is the Channel Island National Park Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is dedicated to the Channel Islands National Park, a United States national park that consists of five islands off the coast (see https://www.nps.gov/chis/index.htm). You can also take a boat trip out to the Channel Islands from the Harbor (www.islandpackers.com).
The Visitor Center has displays of wildlife and sea life from the islands, a live tidal pool, book and gift store, and daily educational talks. Upstairs, there’s a viewing tower with one of the best views of Ventura Harbor, the Channel Islands, and the Ventura coastline. In the center’s auditorium, a 25-minute movie, “A Treasure in the Sea” narrated by Kevin Costner, is shown throughout the day. The center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.
Harbor Cove Café
Next to the Visitor Center is a little gem of a restaurant, Harbor Cove Café, which serves breakfast and lunch. You can sit indoors or outdoors with a close-up view of the marina.
Near the Ventura Harbor, at the south end of Pierpont Boulevard, Marina Park is a beautiful 15-acre oceanfront park. Set on the beach, this park features palm trees, a huge grassy area, picnic tables, barbecues, restrooms, and a great playground with a replica sailing ship. It’s perfect for a picnic and a day of family fun!
Getting to Ventura
Ventura is right off the 101 freeway. If you live in California, it’s a pretty easy drive from just about anywhere. You can also get here by train – the Amtrak station is located at the Ventura Fairgrounds. Or, from out of state, you can fly into the Santa Barbara Airport, Burbank Airport, or LAX.
Where to stay in Ventura
Our favorite hotel here is the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, which overlooks the beach near the Ventura Pier, on the Beachfront Promenade. All rooms, which have recently been renovated, have ocean views. It has a beachfront pool and patio and dining area (with a fire pit), and two restaurants, the Aqua Beachfront Bar and La Cosecha Modern Mexican Food restaurant. It’s located at 450 E. Harbor Blvd. Call (805) 648-2100 or visit www.cpventura.com
Another recommended hotel is the Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor. It is located at the Ventura Harbor, and has rooms with a harbor view. It has a pool and hot tub, an on-site tennis court and fitness center, and bicycle rentals.
Four Points’ Alexander’s Restaurant has dining indoors and out on the patio, and also has a Grab and Go menu so you can order food from their kitchen and take it with you on your adventures. It’s located at 1050 Schooner Dr. Call (805) 658-1212 or visit www.fourpointsventuraharborresort.com
For more information about Ventura, California, visit www.visitventuraca.com. Enjoy your trip, and feel free to share your discoveries, adventures, and recommendations with us!
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- Lori Granieri
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