Summer Family Escapes

By Josh Kafka
It’s hot. School’s out. The timeless questions every parent asks: Where in the world should I take my kids? And how much will it cost me? Physically, emotionally and of course financially?

Well happily, not much. There are several reasonable local options that make for a wonderful, easeful family escape—without too much cost. All of the resorts below come with free bonus perks (if booked with Blisscape) that make staying there much more affordable.


Ojai Valley Resort and Spa (OVS). With beautiful gardens, orchards, fields to play in and a wonderful kids swimming pool, OVS is a perfect family resort. This is the place to go when parents want to slow down and relax while still offering the kids a wonderful time. We love the spa, the many bunnies running around the property, and the location—just an hour from the city. Blisscape bonus amenities: free upgrade to Fireplace Shangri-La room, full breakfasts for two, and free entrance to the spa. (more…)

A Perfect Gift for Father’s Day

gift this FatherLooking for the perfect gift this Father’s Day? Why not create a book that features photos of both Dad and his toddler?! This popular Twigtale title shows your child just how universal a dad’s love is. Click here to get started! Through the end of June, use the coupon code LAMOM20 for 20% off your entire order! *


Let’s face it – most people love reading about themselves. And your kids are no different. You will be surprised at how many times your child will ask you to read “his” or “her” Twigtale story – and amazed at how well they absorb the unique lessons contained within each book. We have created stories that parents can personalize easily using their own photographs and words. Twigtale books are written in simple language so that kids are engaged at their level of development and comprehension. (more…)

Hosting Mother’s Day

By David Rowe
DavidsoloChefYou dedicate every day to enriching your children’s lives and Mother’s Day is about showing our love and appreciation for your influence on not only us, but society. This is your day to spend time with your family and feel pampered. If your kids are too young to plan something special, you can still plan ahead to make sure you can enjoy a wonderful celebration in the company of your loved ones. After all, you don’t get a chance to sit down and relax very often!

Whether you prefer to have an intimate, cozy day with your kids or throw a big celebration for all the mothers in the neighborhood, we have something for you. Unwind and enjoy a gourmet sit-down meal to include exquisite tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, organic fresh salad, a bold and flavorful entrée with a unique twist and a decadent dessert or enjoy a buffet or family-style meal so you can eat to your heart’s content. (more…)

Enjoying Spring with your Child

By Lisa Niver Rajna
Lisa Niver RajnaParents love to play with their children but often ask me how to bring more science into everyday fun activities. Most adults think of science as an experiment or equation that has nothing to do with everyday life. But science is the process for figuring out how things work. When you think of it that way, even a construction site can turn into a physics lesson. Take a walk with your child and ask your child to put on his imaginary detective hat and tell you everything he sees to improve powers of observation. You can work in a lesson about photosynthesis when you and your child have a conversation about leaves: Why are they green in the spring, and why do they change color in the fall and drop off the trees? See how many different insects you see or different bird songs you hear. City kids can also soak up a little physics by noticing the timing of the traffic lights—do they depend on the flow of traffic to change or are they pre-set? These are all methods to sneak more science into your day! Your phone is always with you, so turn its camera into a teaching tool and your child can pick up some very cool scientific principles of light. (more…)

Choosing a Camp: Myths and Facts

By Jill Levin
Jill LevinWe are constantly barraged with information about camps – from magazines and emails, to headline news and parents talking on the sidelines at little league. Sometimes it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. You will want to know what’s true and what’s not as you answer the all-important question, “What will I do with my kids next summer?” To help guide you, I’ve compiled a list of myths vs. facts about camps.


Fabulous Kids’ Parties

By Shirin Yadegar
Shirin YadegarMy two oldest girls start planning their birthdays six months before the big day. They have big expectations with large guest lists. Keep in mind they are only 8 and 6.
After plentiful research and numerous birthday parties I have found the best of the best at the most affordable prices for all of their parties.
The list below is made up from my personal experience with these vendors. I have used all of them and have always been more than happy with their interaction with the kids. They are always on time, professional, well priced and make the party a blast!
Make sure to mention LA MOM MAGAZINE when you call them so they give you my rates!


Getting Creative for the Holidays

Tips on dressing up your table for the holidays

By Deborah Gleiberman
debgliebermanWhat is creative luxury? It means using creativity to enrich our lives. Whether you find an inventive way to store toiletries, fold clothes while humming a song, or add an unexpected spice to a chicken dish, you are accessing your creative side. Luxury is refinement of living rather than a necessity. Well, if you ask me, refinement is a necessity! When I set a table, I want it to look beautiful and refined. It just doesn’t need to cost a lot, at the holidays or anytime. Anyone with the right pocketbook can walk into Saks Fifth Avenue and buy the latest Baccarat votives, call a florist, and call it a day. But for the average mom whose go-to blush stick just might be a pack of ketchup and whose little ones are begging for a Wii or (worse!) an iPad, creativity in the luxury department is a necessity.


Storybooks and New Situations

Your child can be the star of the story.

By Atoosa Nehorai
atoosaFor children, the world is wondrous place filled with new experiences and new challenges. Every parent knows that some life events are more complicated and require more attention and discussion than others. As a mother of three, I came to realize the power of storybooks in helping parents explain new situations to their children. I learned that these books can play an important role in facilitating an honest and open discussion about the issue at hand. Upon seeing the benefits of these storybooks, I decided to launch a website which allowed parents to create customized stories which addressed specific issues that were significant to their child; a place where families could write their own stories. (more…)

Creating Wonder-Inspired by Nature

Teaching your kids to love nature.

By Lisa Niver Rajna

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep
and suck out all the marrow of life, to put to rout all that was not life and
not when I had come to die Discover that I had not lived.” Henry David Thoreau

Not all of us can make a commitment to nature like Henry David Thoreau to go live on Walden Pond, but we do not have to go to such lengths to inspire our children to love nature. By creating wonder and a connection to the environment we can all protect our planet.

We can even share seeds and caterpillars with our children without even going very far outside! As Janine M. Benyus states in Biomimicry:

Bringing children back into nature and nature back into childhood is a job for teachers and parents and friends willing to take a child outside for a lark. There need not be an ‘official’ park involved; finding a place where green things grow, even if it’s a crack in the sidewalk, is enough.


Overloaded with Your Kid’s Art

Finally there is a way to get help organizing all of your kids’ artwork.

By Dana Hostage
DanaHostageHave you unpacked your child’s backpack yet from the last day of school? What does one do with the backpack contents when it’s finally unpacked? With certainty, that stack of artwork the teachers sent home is in there and most moms will simply add it to the pile of artwork collected throughout the years.

What can you do with it? Rachel Ray had an interesting post by Katia Hetter on her blog about Purging Picassos. Katie suggests asking your kids which art pieces to keep and which to toss and explaining to them why the need to toss. What child would actually agree to throw out their masterpieces? We have all done it: tossed some art into the trash when no one is around hoping that you’ll never be asked to produce it again.