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.

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!

Summer Days

I cannot believe it’s already August and talk of school supplies is in the air. I’m not ready for chilly weather and pumpkin spice everything just yet!

Sweet brothers relaxing after a long morning swim

Until school’s in session for the kiddos I work with, I plan to soak up as much time in the sun as possible and convince them that everything is simply more fun outside.

Bike, swim, snack, slides, swings, repeat. There’s hardly time for an outfit change in between the pool and the park!

What are your favorite summer activities in Santa Barbara?

Click here for Parks & Rec’s Summer Activity Guide.

Macaroni Kids’ August calendar here has some great recs. As does Parent Click, here.

It’s not too late to catch the last couple $2 kids movies at Paseo Nuevo Metropolitan Theatres as well (every Tuesday and Wednesday this summer).

The local libraries also have a packed schedule.

And so. many. camp options.

Oh to live in an endless summer. I hope you’re enjoying yours 🙂

Shop Local

One of my favorite things about Santa Barbara is the value locals place on small business. I love walking State Street and stopping for a salad at Savoy, tacos at Lilly’sor a treat at Chocolats du Calibressan.

My favorite goodies from an event at Chocolat–those red Buddhas are caramel-filled and to die for!

Research shows locally owned businesses create more prosperous and connected communities (among other benefits). I love this infographic from the Huffington Post–undoubtedly small businesses are a vital contributor to our economy.

There are countless business owners I look up to in town, from Karim at Axxess to Lisa at Carlyle. I am hard at work setting everything up to become one myself and am so eager to join the club. What could be more fulfilling than meeting the needs of our community through business?

Prior to this new venture, I spent three years on staff at Women’s Economic Ventures (Santa Barbara’s nonprofit Women’s Business Center) where I worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs at many stages of business, all of whom I deeply respect for their tenacity and contributions to our city.

My last month there, we won the Southern California Women’s Business Center of Excellence award from the Small Business Administration. You can see I was ecstatic at the awards luncheon (above), but only because I truly believe in the profound importance of small business and feel privileged to be a part of our entrepreneurial community.

Consider this: If just half the U.S. employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue. What an impact!

I’m curious…do you celebrate small business and shop local? What are some of your favorite spots? And to all the rockstar business owners out there–thank you for all you do.

Meredith & Co. Santa Barbara launches this fall! Interested in our waitlist? Click here.