I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say it’s hard to schedule date nights for you and your significant other when you have babies at home. Time passes too quickly, and remembering to plan a date night often falls at the bottom of your to-do list. Then there’s the whole fiasco of booking a babysitter for the night; finding someone who’s available and most importantly, qualified to look after your precious kiddos. I recall too many nights when my sisters weren’t available to babysit so my husband and I just decided to stay home instead of making the extra effort to find a sitter outside of the family.
But, keeping your relationship afloat amongst the chaos of being parents is so important! That’s why I was thrilled to hear about a new service in San Diego called, Babysitter Tonight.
Babysitter Tonight offers busy parents an easy way to make Date Night happen. They currently have seven amazing kid-tested/mom-approved sitters to book for your date night needs in the Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Carmel Valley, Cardiff, Encinitas, Carlsbad, 4S Ranch, and La Jolla neighborhoods.
How it Works:
Visit Babysitter Tonight and fill out a request form online or give them a call at 619-354-1063 and schedule your date night on any Friday or Saturday evening. Once scheduled, you will receive a detailed email confirming your address, date/time of babysitting requested, the sitter that has been assigned to you on that particular night and any other logistics you clarified in your request form.
All of Babysitter Tonight’s sitters are personally interviewed by their team, references are verified, background checks are conducted and each of them are tested by one of their “member families“.
After speaking with Kerily, the founder of BabysitterTonight, and reading her sitters’ bio’s on the website, I felt so at-ease scheduling our next date night, knowing our daughter would be in great hands.
After the babysitting service is complete, you will be sent an invoice via Square that you can pay with your Visa or MasterCard debit card. There is no credit card required for deposit in advance.
- 1-2 children is $15/hour + booking fee
- 3-5 children is $16/hour + booking fee
- 6+ children, call for pricing
- Standard booking fee is $10
- Last minute booking fee (less than 4 hours notice) is $20
- Their sitters don’t accept tips so no need to worry about that.
My Personal Experience:
I opted to fill out the request form online. Within 24 hours I was sent a confirmation email with all of the details of my babysitting date along with an introduction to my babysitter for the night.
When our date night arrived, our sitter arrived 10 minutes early (loved that!) and we immediately hit it off with her. She was extremely caring, thorough and didn’t mind our huge 80 lb. dog jumping on her, so I knew she would fit right in. Before Mike and I left, we went over some simple instructions with her and she walked us through a “pre-game” sheet where she asked us emergency numbers and other important specifics. I was very impressed by the thorough process!
My husband and I left feeling reassured that our daughter was in great hands and were able to enjoy our dinner and ice cream date out on the town!
The next day I received an invoice via email for the amount I owed for the services and I easily paid with my debit card online. Easy-peasy!
My husband and I are honestly so excited to have found such a wonderful and trustworthy babysitting service here in San Diego and we will happily book our future date nights through Babysitter Tonight!
Mommy Project, San Diego readers enjoy a 10% discount when you schedule a babysitter through Babysitter Tonight. Use code: MPSANDIEGO for 10% off.
Disclaimer: The Mommy Project, San Diego did receive a complimentary babysitter from Babysitters Tonight. All opinions are my own and I only recommends businesses that I can truly stand behind.
I know this sounds cliché, but I’ve really enjoyed every stage of my daughter’s life so far. The newborn stage was so cute and cuddly – exhausting because of the no sleep part, yes – but the cute, silent cuddles were precious! Then the crawling, babbling stage was so fun – watching her take the lead on where she wanted to go and discovering her surroundings on her own. Now, we’re in the toddler stage at 18 months old and I think it’s a riot! Walking, running, talking – her little personality shining through in everything she does. I also understand her preferences now – for example, I’m pretty sure her favorite color is purple because she will only write with the purple sidewalk chalk and she usually picks out stickers or toys that are primarily purple. It’s a fun age but it’s also a messy, mini tornado type of stage - in a hilarious way of course. Here are 9 signs that your baby is now a toddler:
1. You can never find your keys, your lip gloss or your credit card because your toddler goes through your purse, daily, and hides all of its contents around the house.
2. You find strange things in your purse (mostly everything you don’t need), like sea shells from your beach walk last week, a doll’s hairbrush, and a toilet paper cardboard roll - all strategically placed there by your toddler.
3. You are constantly restocking your first aid kit with band aids and ointments because your toddler has bruises, scrapes and cuts all over her knees and legs from falling at least 5 times per day.
4. You’ve considered, or have already executed, hiding a certain book from your toddler, because you might have to check-in to the loony bin if you have to read it just ONE…MORE…TIME.
5. You’re at the weird in-between stage at the park where you’re not quite comfortable letting your new toddler crawl up to the top of the jungle gym and go down the slide by herself, but that’s all she wants to do in life – so you climb up there with her and find yourself in a sea of kids – trying to fit through the small doorways and bumping your head around every corner because, well, this contraption was not made for adults!
6. You have no less than 25 pieces of Tupperware in your fridge all filled with different meals for your toddler because on Monday she LOVES Mac ‘n Cheese and turns her nose up at green beans, but on Tuesday she MUST have green beans and looks at you like, “are you kidding me?” when you try to give her Mac ‘n Cheese. It’s an uphill battle.
7. Your toddler has a newfound obsession with shoes – her shoes, your shoes, your husband’s shoes – she does not discriminate. And you know it’s going to be good when you hear a “clomp, clomp, clomp” coming down the hall.
8. You have to be on guard around your toddler, because at any moment she could poke you right in the eye and say, “eyes!” Or jam a finger up your nose and exclaim, “nose!”. Learning the human anatomy is so fun!
9. You must be careful what you say around your toddler because they will now repeat anything and E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G – including 4 letter words that rhyme with “fit” and are oh-so easy to pronounce.
I love being a mom to a toddler because it is a new adventure every day! New toddler moms, what would you add to this list?
The following is a sponsored post brought to you by San Diego-area dermatologist Dr. Susan M. Stuart, MD.
No sooner had Hillary Clinton made it official that she wants to be the next face of the White House than the Los Angeles Times ran an op-ed on how wrinkled that face would be.
“Following in the venerable tradition of so many aging male politicians, Clinton is vying for the most powerful post in the free world with jowls, face creases and a less-than-Pilates-toned physique,” wrote columnist Meghan Daum, much to the chagrin of many readers, who quickly took to social media. The top comment on the newspaper’s Facebook post about the story summed much of the response up nicely: “Would this even be an article if she was a man???”
And with that, we’ve stoked the fires of feminism, what it means to age as a woman in the U.S., and the stigma around plastic surgery. None of these are new issues, but with Clinton at the top of the docket, things may be a bit different this time around.
The Changing Face of History
Women in positions of power have used cosmetic surgery as a tool to continue looking as youthful and vibrant as possible for decades, although few have been outspoken about it until recent years. A cultural shift that encourages a healthier female body image has spurred a number of famous women, such as Nicole Kidman and Jane Fonda, to open up about the work they’ve had done.
Coinciding with these cultural changes has been a wave of medical advances in the cosmetic enhancement field, leading to more effective “minimally invasive procedures.” These treatments, such as laser skin rejuvenation and BOTOX® Cosmetic injections, don’t require surgery and are hugely popular, increasing 508% since 1997, according to statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
According to the website of San Diego dermatologist Dr. Susan Stuart, “Innovations in cosmetic skin treatments are rapidly changing how we address various types of skin damage, aging, and loss of volume. Injectable treatments and soft tissue fillers have created a new class of injectable cosmetic therapies that create a noticeable, lasting improvement for patients who aren’t yet ready for surgery.” They’ve enabled women to refresh their faces in a discreet, natural-looking way that they also seem more comfortable talking about.
A Conversation Opening Up
None of these trends, though, seem to have seeped into politics until now — at least not in a way that anyone is being open about. Any female politicians who have had work done lately have kept it conservative and hush-hush. Since Betty Ford’s much-criticized ’70s facelift, no one has dared tread onto that territory.
With Clinton stepping into the role of presumptive Democratic nominee, the issues of cosmetic enhancement and politics are intertwining in a changed landscape. The social media backlash was swift when the Los Angeles Times brought up the topic, with many readers questioning why the paper would let a columnist write on such an inherently sexist issue (i.e., “I have never seen an article about a man getting plastic surgery in his bid for the White House”).
However, Daum, the column’s writer, long respected for her published views on what it’s like to live and age as a woman in the U.S., took the position that it was empowering and impressively feminist for Clinton to head into an election with her real face forward.
“All of us who were taking bets on whether she’d get a whole face-lift or simply Botox herself into generic acceptability can eat our words,” Daum wrote. “While we’re at it, we should kiss Clinton’s feet. By unapologetically looking her age, she’s giving all women a license to stay in the spotlight even as they mature past their younger, dewier years. And with any luck, she just might put the whole concept of a female expiration date out to pasture.”
That this debate is happening at all is an important step for wide demographics of U.S. women, from the millions who choose cosmetic enhancement each year to the aging women in positions of power and the younger counterparts who want to be them someday. Expect to see more on these issues as campaign season revs up.
Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by San Diego-area dermatologist Dr. Susan M. Stuart, MD.
With a fun holiday like Cinco de Mayo upon us, and Mother’s Day just around the corner, I couldn’t think of a better time to organize a little “Mom’s Night Out” on the town to give me and my mom friends a much needed break and some quality girl time. Cinco de Mayo also happens to be one of my favorite holidays because who doesn’t have fun with chips and salsa, margaritas, and maracas in the mix? Spoiler alert: no one.
To make this Mom’s Night Out extra special, we decided to rent a limo from Aall In Limo & Party Bus and head down to Old Town to celebrate our night of freedom, complete with mini sombreros!
Aall In Limo & Party Bus was started by Mike Reifeiss, after he went “Aall in” during a poker tournament and won! He bought his first limo with his winnings and has continued to grow his business in San Diego and Temecula ever since. Aall In Limo & Party Bus offers town cars, stretch limos, Hummers and a Party Bus as part of its fleet. They specialize in Temecula winery tours, San Diego brewery tours, bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthday parties or a night out just because!
The thing that truly sets Aall in Limo & Party Bus apart from other limo transportation options in San Diego, is their service. I’ve personally experienced a few other local limo companies and nothing compared to the attention to detail, courtesy and overall service that Aall in Limo provided our group. I also thought the name was just so fitting after I wrote my “All in” Mother’s Day article! It was meant to be.
Mom’s Night Out in San Diego
With good intentions to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some Mexican food and margaritas, the seven of us headed to Old Town, San Diego. Tragically there were huge lines out the door of almost every Mexican restaurant, so we made a game-time decision to head to Little Italy’s Kettner Exchange instead (afterall, there were some hungry pregnant women in the limo who needed to eat A.S.A.P.! ) Our limo driver, Joe, was so accomodating with the change of plans and got us safely to our new destination.
Kettner Exchange provided the perfect atmosphere for a girls night out. Even with no reservation, the seven of us were able to claim a long community table in their lounge and instantly found ourselves with cocktails, mocktails and appetizers circulating.
Although we tried many delicious tapas, I highly recommend the Fried Chicken (I’ll seriously dream of this dish), Kale Salad, and Cauliflower Tempura. For my main course I had to order the Double Double Burger, because…well, have you seen this thing? Yes, please.
Our driver, Joe, politely texted me when we were getting close to our departure time (I LOVED the courtesy text – so helpful), so with that we paid the bill and headed back to north county.
Despite the change of dinner plans, the night ended up being a huge success and a much-deserved night out for these mamas!
Thank you Aall In Limo & Party Bus for perfecting our “Cinco de Mayo / Pre-Mother’s Day Mom’s Night Out” – no doubt we will be using your services again!
Book Aall In Limo & Party Bus for Mother’s Day this Sunday and receive $100 off your reservation! Find out more here.
Disclaimer: Aall In Limo & Party Bus provided complimentary transportation for the Mommy Project, San Diego. However, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.
With Mother’s Day around the corner, I’ve been doing some reflecting on what it really means to be a mother.
I’ve been on the recipient end of Mother’s Day for three years now. The first year, I was newly pregnant with my first baby and beaming with excitement and anticipation, not knowing what it would truly mean to hold the title, “mom”. I remember celebrating with my husband at brunch and talking about what we thought it was going to be like having a little one running around “this time next year”. We were bright-eyed, still selfish and probably a little nervous. The second year celebrating Mother’s Day, I would classify myself as a “new mom” with a 6 month old daughter – my first true Mother’s Day because I then knew what it was like to hold this title. I knew what it was like to carry a baby for 9 months and then give birth to that baby and love that baby unconditionally. And I knew what sacrifice truly meant – giving up sleep, personal hygiene and maybe even a little bit of sanity, to care and nurture this tiny human. Now, here I am on my third Mother’s Day, with a daughter who is now almost 18 months old (seriously, where did my baby go?) and a new little bundle of joy ready to make his appearance, come October.
As I reflect back on the past year and a half and what it has truly meant for me to be “Mom”, I decided that being a mom means being all in. Just stop and think about the weight of these two words for a second: ALL. IN. There’s not much else in life you can say that about. You’re not all in with your career – even the most dedicated employees take a sick day or a vacation day and can mentally unplug. You’re not all in with your healthy eating and exercise routine – guaranteed you take a cheat day to eat a California burrito or you skip the gym on Sunday mornings so you can sleep in. But being a mom means committing and encompassing this role 100% of the time – even when you’re away from your child, you never “unplug” from being a mother. I don’t care if you work every day, work part-time, are a stay-at-home mom or work-at-home mom – you are Mom. And you’re all in.
You’re all in from the moment you see the plus sign on a pregnancy test. You are carrying a baby and it’s time to start eating healthy, giving up certain indulgences (like glasses of wine, raw fish and unpasteurized cheese).
You’re all in when it’s time for your baby to make her appearance and you go through the most intense experience of your life: labor.
You’re all in when your newborn baby wakes up every three hours and you rock her back to sleep each time.
You’re all in when you feed your baby milk, purees, solid foods – making sure to provide the best nutrition for your baby all day, every day.
You’re all in when you read and play with your baby – teaching her new skills and watching her grow.
You’re all in when making decisions for your baby. You will research topics until you’re blue in the face, discuss in length with your pediatrician, take a quick survey with your mom friends and then decide what is right for your baby. You provide the care your baby needs, always, because she depends on you and you know what’s right for her.
And as your baby grows and goes through new developments and life stages, and as you add to your family with new babies, you’ll continue to be all in, forever. Why? Because you’re Mom.
Happy early Mother’s Day to all of the beautiful mother’s out there! And give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re amazing all day, every day! xo
Sun Angels are UPF 50+ sleeves for babies and kids to help protect them from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Sun Angles started with one simple goal in mind: to create kid-friendly, fashionable gear that protects kids from the sun. Sun Angels are an adorable and convenient way to protect your kids on sunny days and are made using a 60% polyester/35% cotton jersey/5% spandex (latex-free) fabric blend, which is comfortable and stylish, while also achieving the highest possible UPF 50+ rating. The sleeves are perfect to slip on when your little one will be exposed to the sun, and then take off when it’s time to go back indoors.
Blake and I had the opportunity to test out some Sun Angels sleeves for ourselves and I was so happy with the outcome! Even though I’m constantly slathering her up with sunscreen, she still manages to get a farmers tan. The Sun Angels sleeves were easy to slip on before we headed outdoors to draw with some sidewalk chalk, and then slipped right off when it was time to go back inside. The best of all? Blake LOVES them! She thinks they’re a fun accessory and will even bring me the sleeves to put over her pajamas in the morning. Ha!
Bottom line – anything that keeps Blake’s skin protected from harmful sun rays gets an A+ in my book. See ya later farmer’s tan!
Enter to Win
Enter to win a pair of sun sleeves in the size and style of your choice (size range: infant – 6 years old). Winner will be randomly selected via the Rafflecopter tool below, on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
One of the tell-tale signs that summer is around the corner, is the sudden emersion of fun events throughout San Diego! It’s hard to believe that the month of May is just a week away! And what a May it will be, with these fun, family-friendly San Diego events happening throughout our beautiful city. Mark your calendars – it’s beginning to look a lot like summer!
May 2, 2015
Westfield UTC hosts it’s 3rd annual ‘Uncorked’ wine walk and concert from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM. This outdoor event will consist of four wine gardens, each featuring award-winning wineries, including Falkner Winery, Danza Del Sol Winery, Callaway Winery, Maurice Car’rie Winery, Robert Renzoni Vineyards and Lorimar Winery, paired with unlimited chef-crafted bites from the icon open-air center’s gourmet dining options— PIRCH, Seasons 52, Eureka, Discover American Craft and Tender Greens, all complemented by live local musicians. Ticket sale proceeds will benefit non-profits Temecula Valley Winegrower’s Association and Bright Pink.
May 2, 2015
In celebration of a century on San Diego Bay, Flagship Cruises & Events will host a 100th anniversary party from 2 to 6 p.m. Guests will enjoy food, drinks and fun aboard Flagship’s fleet of luxury yachts, docked along the newly-remodeled embarcadero at 990 North Harbor Drive. The event is free and open to the public.
Highlights of the bash include:
- Live music by acclaimed dance band Sensation and jazz vocalist Celeste Barbier
- Complimentary appetizers
- Local craft beer and wine for sample and purchase
- Local olive oil tastings
- Professional commemorative photos
- Photos and memorabilia from Flagship’s 100-year history
- Kids entertainment including balloon art, games, face painting and a magician
- Prizes and giveaways
The party will take place aboard the California Spirit, California Princess and Quiet Heart yachts, and guests will be able to freely embark and disembark in order to enjoy the offerings and harbor view on all three boats.
Additionally, Flagship will offer free high-speed thrill rides on the Patriot jet boat for party guests. The newest addition to the Flagship fleet and the only boat of its kind in San Diego, the 70-foot Patriot features two turbo-charged 1,400 horsepower jet engines that send passengers racing through San Diego Harbor on an unforgettable joyride at 50 miles per hour. The complimentary rides will depart at 2:30, 3:30, 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.
Flagship will close out the evening with a free harbor tour on the Quiet Heart yacht, which will depart at 5 p.m. for an hour-long tour of San Diego Bay. Space will be limited.
May 5, 2015
The Kiwanis Club of San Diego and the San Diego State University School of Music and Dance, along with generous community sponsors present Cinco de Mayo Concert in the Park, a free concert in celebration of Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park at 6:00 p.m. The concert features the top musical ensembles from the SDSU School of Music and Dance including the Aztec Concert Choir directed by Dr. Patrick Walders, the SDSU Jazz Ensemble directed by Bill Yeager and the SDSU Mariachi Ensemble conducted by Mark Fogelquist.
In addition to the concert, the Kiwanis Club of San Diego will celebrate with a ticketed VIP reception at the Mingei International Museum, just steps from the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
The reception is open to the public and tickets are available by contacting Marian Liebowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information click here.
May 28, 2015 – August 27, 2015
Shore Thing summer series at the Museum of Contemporary Art offers free Museum admission every Thursday from 5-8 PM at the La Jolla location and free exhibition tours. But the real party is in their Edwards Family Sculpture Garden with picnicking, live music, food, drinks, and an amazing view of the La Jolla coastline at sunset. Over 1,000 visitors enjoyed Shore Thing last year with tons of families bringing their own blankets and coolers of food, and enjoying the evening.
I’m not sure why I was so shocked to see another positive pregnancy test. Maybe I thought I would only ever see one in my life, or maybe I thought my body had been through so much with the first pregnancy and the first year of motherhood, that it was physically impossible to get pregnant again. But, there it was clear as day, two little lines – baby number two was on the way!
My excitement was very different this second time around. I was of course happy for Mike and I to bring another little girl or boy into this world, but I was most excited for Blake. Just as Blake made Mike and I “Mommy and Daddy”, this second baby would make Blake a “big sister”.
I have two younger sisters of my own, and looking back on my childhood, there’s not a single memory without them in it. We were best friends, partners in crime, and soul mates for as far back as I can remember. We share the same core, the same history of how we were brought up – and I’m excited for Blake to have that. A true and unconditional love like no other.
Like Blake, I am the oldest, and I know the responsibility that’s in store for her – and it’s big. She’ll be the big sis, the one he/she looks up to, follows around and takes the lead from. I’ve begun looking at Blake in a new light – witnessing her gentle qualities and kindhearted spirit – this girl was made to be a big sister, and I am so proud of her already.
I wish Blake could understand completely when I say to her, “you’re going to have a little brother or sister soon”. What I really want her to understand is that this little baby is going to make her life colorful and fun. This baby is going to give her a sense of companionship and the two of them will have their own little tribe. There will be fights, yes, but there will be so much more love and laughter. Life is about to change in a big way, for the best.
Baby Helms #2, we can’t wait to meet you!
Have you heard of ClassPass? It’s one of those brilliant ideas that is so simple and much-needed and makes you wonder, “why didn’t I think of that?”
ClassPass is a fitness start-up that helps people discover the best fitness classes in their city – an alternative to a gym membership. For $99/month you are able to visit unlimited classes at multiple studios. If you’re anything like me in wanting to change-up your fitness routine from time to time and incorporate a few different studios and workouts, then this is for you!
ClassPass is currently in cities across the country including, NYC, Boston, San Francisco, LA, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Seattle. Lucky for us San Diegans, ClassPass just launched in our beautiful cities and the list of local studios participating is impressive! No matter, what part of the city you live in , you’re sure to find some workout options nearby.
With ClassPass you are granted unlimited classes at participating studios and can enjoy 3 classes per studio per month. ClassPass also allows you to build a workout routing full of variety visiting studios of all types including, barre, yoga, pilates, indoor cycling, bootcamps, martial arts, strength training and more.
ClassPass was nice enough to let me test out this program for one month and I have my first class at Studio Barre La Costa this week! I’ve also scheduled myself at Yoga 6 and BodyRok in north county, San Diego. I’ll report back at the end of the month and let you know which studios were my favorite. So far, the ClassPass site is super simple to use and conveniently maps out your fitness schedule for the week. I love the variety of studios participating!
BONUS POINTS: they also just launched ClassPass Flex which means you can workout in ANY city that has ClassPass! Perfect for the traveling type. Find out more, here.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary 1 month pass from ClassPass. However, all opinions are my own and the Mommy Project, San Diego only features businesses that we can truly recommend.