Dress Up Fun

Growing up we played dress up all. the. time. It was a staple in the Anderson household year-round. My younger brother (not the one pictured above–sorry Luke, but you look dang good in that metallic dress) probably wore more costumes than regular clothes until he was in kindergarten. He was almost always wearing a tie, Davy Crockett hat or cowboy costume.

We had an ever-growing box full of fun pieces like the vintage hat I’m rockin’ above. I love when I see similar boxes at our M&Co. families’ houses. It brings back such fond memories.

October has been my favorite month thus far because so many of my family meetings have included impromptu Halloween costume fashion shows.

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Last year was my favorite Halloween to date because my whole family volunteered at a Star Wars-themed festival and went all out with costumes (I’m C3PO and Meredith is R2D2 in case you were unsure). My parents in the back are these guys made from boxes, duct tape and silver spray paint day-of! I’m still in disbelief that my cousins pulled off PERFECT Kylo Ren and Rey costumes from only watching episode 7 trailers. It wasn’t until after the movie was released that people realized how spot-on they were (excuse my nerding out on the subject of Star Wars, it can’t be stopped).

Needing some last minute costume ideas? We’ve got you covered.

  • DIY kids costumes–I love the snail and the Mary Poppins
  • These are great (Baby Frida Kahlo is my fave)
  • Must watch video of last minute ideas like dressing a baby as popcorn, so freaking cute
  • This stroller costume is such a great idea
  • This website had some cute ones
  • Food costumes are hilarious to me
  • Kudos for originality on these ones

Wishing you a safe and happy Halloween!

Strong, Smart and Bold Girls

This morning I volunteered at Girls Inc’s 15th annual Women in Leadership: Making a Difference Luncheon. Girls Inc has been in Santa Barbara for almost 60 years and I simply love everything about it. Their mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold through research-based, data-driven educational and enrichment programs.

In the background you can see Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson giving the keynote (she’s the best). Today she pointed out that Santa Barbara’s senator, congresswoman, DA, mayor and police chief are all female! #bossladies

The event was beautiful and inspiring. I am so thankful to live in a community where women are represented, celebrated and invested in. I found this video particularly moving, and all their literature is just spot on (seriously considering printing and hanging their Bill of Rights in my house).

If you have girls, I’d highly recommend looking into their programs or if you’re interested in getting involved it’s easy to volunteer–there’s a center in Santa Barbara and one in Goleta as well!

The Mom Made Market

You all know I LOVE supporting small businesses, so I’m very excited The Mom Made Market will be in Santa Barbara this weekend at the Impact Hub–they’ll have 65 local mama vendors!

The Mom Made Market’s main goal is to support moms in business (duh). By hosting markets, they offer #mommade shops a platform to sell their goods and services. They (we at Meredith &Co. agree!) believe that in supporting mom businesses we can help keep more moms home with their kids, help mothers contribute financially to their families, and encourage creativity and entrepreneurship.

Santa Barbara is their first central coast market so make plans to go shop local, shop small, shop #mommade at the Impact Hub (1117 State St) from 10am-5pm on Saturday 10/22 and 10am-4pm on Sunday 10/23. Hope to see you there!

Connect with them on instagram: @themommademarketsb and @themommademarket

Amazing vendors include (seriously, click on these links–sooo cute!): @musebath, @trendybubs, @potatofeet, @madyandgrace and @palomasoljewelry

Oh My Guac

Did y’all Avocado Festival this weekend in Carp? It was the 30th annual!

The local festival is free and exceeds 100,000 visitors each year over the course of the three-day weekend. Known as home to the world’s largest vat of guac, 75 musical acts and avocado food galore. I’m all about the deep fried avocado but not so much about the avo ice cream–everything’s worth a shot, right?

There’s an awesome kids’ section with games, face painting and other fun activities (those huge inflatable balls you can roll around in). There is also a cute little shopping section featuring many amazing local artisans as well as Avocado Festival merch.

In the avo expo tent we learned about the different types of avocado (who knew!), saw agricultural and historical photos, looked at antique tractors, and marveled at the largest avocado contest winners (above: 3.36 lb. first place avo with iPhone as point of reference for size).

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What a fun local tradition. I have to admit that although we scored a great parking spot, it was a little too hot and crowded for me to stay all day. But definitely something everyone should check out at least once!

Currently wishing for more fall weather in the coming weeks and, of course, planning our first trip to the pumpkin patch.

Dates With Hope

When interviewing caregivers, we always ask about the most challenging and rewarding aspects of each job they’ve held with a family. We won’t talk about the challenging parts today, but I can say that almost every time the candidates share that nothing is more rewarding than the relationships they build with the kids.

I started babysitting this sweet girl when I was in college and she was three. At the time she had two brothers and now she has 4 siblings just like me–I always knew we were kindred spirits!

In recent years I hardly babysit for her family anymore, but try to schedule occasional dates to remain consistent in her life. Whether a quick bike ride to the coy pond or an afternoon walk for a treat, it always feels very meaningful.

I cannot believe she’s almost ten! On our most recent date, Hope was glowing in this white lace dress and little wedges, donning a sparkly clutch and the biggest smile. I definitely felt underdressed in my summer dress and metallic Birkenstocks. We obviously had to go to Savoy for her favorite Turkey Fritters and visit the bulk bins at a local health food store for dessert.

We chatted about sibling dynamics, braces, and the floral shop she wants to open one day. There’s something so special about one-on-one time, especially when you go somewhere fun. I remember going on “dates” with my dad growing up and loving every part of it–the anticipation, the outfit, the conversations and the uniqueness of that time together.

Halfway through dinner, Hope pulled this shell out of her purse and gave it to me. My heart melted. What a sweet reminder of the importance of consistency in kids’ lives and how precious these relationships are that we build.

Back to School

I hope you’re enjoying the change of season and getting back into the swing of the school year. As you figure out your family’s childcare needs, I can assure you we have some fabulous caregivers to connect you with.

I have been so impressed with the quality of caregivers I’ve been interviewing these past months. I laughed during a recent reference call when a woman described the candidate “like a Pied Piper who kids just seem to flock to wherever she goes!”

How cute are these new fliers we just had printed? Now that school’s in session, we’ve been working with more UCSB and Westmont students, mostly upperclassmen in their education departments but there’s a great variety of personalities and experience.

In case you’ve been wondering how we screen our caregivers: The caregivers we refer are chosen and screened through a thorough application, a series of interviews and reference calls. We ensure they are currently infant and child CPR certified, run a multi-state criminal, sex offender and driving record background check, they take a caregiver personality and psychiatric evaluation and go through our caregiving training. We search for the best of the best!

On a personal note, I moved my little sister into her dorm at UCSB last weekend–the same one I once called home. (Don’t worry, even I’m a little weirded out with how similar we look sometimes.)

There’s something so fun and unique about the energy of a new school year and I have to say it’s quite contagious. Let us know if there’s anything we can do at Meredith & Co. to make your life easier this fall!

BRB–Just Plastering My Face Around Town

Today I embarked on some old school marketing and hung these fliers at my local favorites (Girls, Inc., My Gym, and the even the women’s locker room at the Y).

The backside of the flier has some beautiful artwork on it, but unfortunately that doesn’t always get showcased 🙂

If you’re reading this because these fliers drew you in…click here to let me know what sort of care you’re looking for. I’m so happy we caught your eye!

New Business Cards Are Here

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Meredith and I are obsessed with Rifle Paper Co. and are absolutely guilty of having matching floral phone cases from them (best Ross find ever). I’m already eyeing their 2017 planners and making mental pro/con lists of how they compare to my beloved Passion Planner…but that’s a topic for another day.

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Here they are! I’m just so smitten with how these turned out; I can’t wait to start using them. It is a little embarrassing how often I’m actually wearing stripes and sunnies though–hoping that look never goes out of style 🙂

Celebrating 30 Years

Labor Day weekend marks my parents’ anniversary each year and this year we celebrated the big 3-0.

Wedding Pic

1986–what a year in fashion! Today their glasses, sleeves and sideburns may be less prominent but overall I have to say not much has changed.

As I grow older, the more I can appreciate the stability their relationship provides our family. No parents are perfect, but mine have always been consistent. Time with them and my siblings is always full of endless laughter, decades of inside jokes, games, love, support, and the most enjoyable conversations. I love and respect them immensely.

Every year we go down to San Diego for Labor Day weekend and this year we checked out the San Diego Symphony’s Bayside Summer Nights Concert Tchaikovsky Spectacular. We picnicked on the water beforehand and the concert was AMAZING. The evening ended with fireworks and cannons being shot (the cannons were a little much if I’m honest but still, it was a breathtaking show).

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We spent the rest of the weekend lounging, touristing, swimming, reading (side note: I’m rereading Freakonomics and it’s blowing my mind all over again), reminiscing, eating delicious food, and marveling at my 15 year old brother’s man bun.

I hope you all had a fabulous long weekend, and again, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MAMA AND PAPA ANDERSON. Love you and cheers to the next 30 years of adventure!