Spring-Break Essential: The Best Sun Hats for Little Vacationers

Hello, spring. (Well, hello officially, at least.) We’ve been dreaming about you, and counting down the days until you’d peek your sunny little head out from behind winter’s bleak and cold and cloudy horizon. Alas, here you are! The Vernal Equinox—could we love you any more?!? The day that signifies the change in seasons. Of course, the weather is still rather unpredictable (is that snow I see in the upcoming weekend’s forecast?). At least, we know the temperature will slowly but surely rise, and the sun will steadily make more of a regular appearance. We’re counting on you, spring!

While we may have to hold our breath a bit for more spring-like conditions, one thing is fast on the way: spring break! Time to go somewhere beautiful and exotic (unless, of course, your a ski fam), and get a sneak peek at the summer weather on its way.

My crew cut out a bit early for our own officially unofficial spring break vacation last week in Florida and the Bahamas. Sunny days, balmy nights, sand, surf, and warm-weather fun—it was exactly what we needed to recharge our tired bodies and minds.

Seeing my two babies soaking up the rays (protected with SPF and wide-brimmed hats) warmed my heart and soothed my Vitamin D-deprived soul. Not only did they look adorable rocking big straw hats in Boca and Sarasota and Nassau, they stayed shady, calm, and cool. So don’t forget to pack your favorite kid-friendly sunscreen, some flip-flops, and a few haute little toddler sun hats (I mean what more could you possibly need?… ahem, diapers?), if you’re headed somewhere tropical these next few spring-break weeks!

I’ve rounded up a few fashionable and functional toddler sun hats for your smallest spring breakers. Enjoy!

  1. Osh Gosh “Poolside” Floppy Sun Hat, $8 / 2. Janie & Jack Color-Block Floppy Hat, $26 / 3. Children’s Place Straw Kitten Hat, $ / 4. Gap Chambray Panama Hat, $ / 5. Cat & Jack Straw Bow Hat, $8 / Janie & Jack Sun Hat, $26

  1. Old Navy Straw Hat, $14 / 2. Children’s Place Straw Bear Hat, $ / 3. Gap Shark Bucket Hat, $20 / 4. Janie & Jack Striped Boater Hat, $26

This is not a sponsored post. It may contain affiliate links. All opinions are our own.

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Creactive Writing: My Circus Experience at Club Med Punta Cana

creactive_As a mom to an energetic toddler and an attention-hungry six month old, I’m a master juggler. It’s a circus in our house all day every day, and I play the role of ringmaster… So when Club Med in Punta Cana invited Momtrends to report on the new Creactive by Cirque du Soleil experience, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean, I already do serious acrobatics to get my son to go to sleep each night—what could they possibly teach me that I didn’t already know?

All kidding aside, I jumped at the opportunity for two reasons: 1.) My almost three-year-old son is obsessed with the circus. The idea of coming home and showing him photographic evidence of Mommy flying the trapeze and doing all sorts of Spider-Man-like stunts was absolutely irresistible. 2.) I really, really needed three blissful nights of uninterrupted sleep. Oh, and the fact that this was all set in a pristine tropical destination didn’t hurt one bit either… I packed my bag, and showered my babies with kisses (and tears!)… but, um, “Peace out, kiddies. Mama’s going to Punta Cana.”

viewTo Club Med With Love…
I’d been to a Club Med once before. I was four and remember very little except for the fact that I refused to let my parents leave me in the kids’ club, and everyone who worked there called me “Laurén.” (Fast forward twenty-nine years, I still swooned every time the mainly French staff referred to me by name.)

beds.fThe beachfront resort itself is sprawling and beautiful with a decisively Caribbean vibe—bright buildings and shabby-chic cabanas decorate the lush property like colorful jimmies on a delectable sundae. The main pool is sparkling and the lobby offers a dark and lovely retreat from the sunny palm-lined lawn and sandy surf. There are canopied beds and chaise lounges everywhere—and I think I may have tried every last resting spot… for the sake of journalistic research, of course. (Also, #mamaneedsanap.)

There are two main restaurants: Hisapnola and Semana. Guests can get their fill at the all-you-can-eat international buffets which boast everything from omelets in the morning to lobster at night. Additionally, the poolside Cielo bar offers midday snacks and nonstop “cocktailing” for thirsty guests (they make a mean mojito!), and Celeste, on the beach, is also open for a quick bite and a spiked sipper.

pool2My room in the main section of the resort was comfortable, clean and functional. The large family-friendly pool was always hopping with activity—there were kids playing and grandparents doing water aerobics (lead by a Speedo-clad instructor, I might add.)

There’s a 5 Trident space for those seeking more luxurious accommodations. Guests require a special bracelet to access this area with a private pool and more modern amenities. It’s worth noting that a new adults’ only Zen Oasis section, complete with deluxe suites, will be opening in December.

lauren_finSun, Sand, and Awesome Activities…
In addition to sun bathing and pool splashing, guests can enjoy water sports, sailing, archery, and golf among other activities. Of course, drinks are included so cocktail-sipping is another popular choice for the kid-free 21+ set (which, for once, included me!).

The Creactive Side of Life…
I had one main goal for this trip—besides getting sleep—and that was to learn to juggle. My brother, who lives in Seattle, will juggle for my son over Skype, and it blows his little mind. He tries so hard to do it too—he’ll pick up three balls and throw them up in the air whilst humming circus music. It’s the cutest thing in the world. So, while all the other journalists immediately ran to the trapeze (there were 55 other writers from all around the world!), I went straight to Guillermo for private juggling lessons. In all honesty, I wasn’t anticipating success—I can barely walk and chew gum—but I wanted to give it my all for the sake of my son.

jugglefin3Guillermo had me start with one ball—practicing the perfect arc of tossing it from one hand to the other. Next, we added a second ball—throwing the right, then the left, and then catching on the left, and then the right—and then reversing the entire process. After a few minutes, he handed me a third ball—and I honestly don’t know how but I just magically started juggling. I think even Guillermo was shocked. It was only about a half an hour total, and I was doing it. (Seriously, watch the video HERE.)

bungeefinWith my first circus success under my belt, I moved on to the acrobatic bungee. I was so excited about this activity. A Creactive staff member harnesses you into a very tight and, thus, very secure, er, “crotch belt”. You’re then suspended high in the air where you can swing, jump, and flip. It took a few minutes to truly trust that I wasn’t going to fall on my face, but once I got my confidence, it felt so liberating. You grab on the bungee cords and pull yourself up to get momentum and bounce—and then, they’re casually like, “oh, hey, try flipping backwards.” After a few failed attempts, I managed a flip and it was so fun! (Worth noting: my abs killed like crazy the next day from this activity!)

Finally, I ended my training at the trapeze—where I needed to conquer my fear of heights and learn to let go. I was so nervous after getting hooked up to cords and gear and belts that I forgot to dip my hands in the chalk before climbing the ladder to the top—so I’ll conveniently blame my poor grip on that lapse of judgment! A Cirque staff member grabbed me by my belt, held me back, and had me reach for the bar—this was by far the scariest part. Before I knew it he was counting to three and I was jumping and soaring. “Now pull your legs up and hook your knees,” he called out to me. Despite the fact that I heard him say this to people before me (and actually saw some of them follow through!), this took me by complete surprise. I felt like I didn’t have the arm and core strength to hoist myself up. So instead I just enjoyed the ride—which was good enough for me. (You can watch HERE.)

The next day, a few writers went back to try again—one gal was so good she even managed to do “the catch” where a Cirque staff member caught her by the hands. Pretty impressive stuff, but I opted for another activity that works the core: stand-up paddle boarding. Seriously, these abs need strengthening before I try the trapeze again—and so I’m going to put them to work!

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vwAdditionally, guests can take clown makeup classes, learn to play the bongos, try the tight rope, walk the vertical wall, and engage in a multitude of other amazing activities in the Creactive playscape. It’s open to guests by age group—so there’s a separate session for adults as well as one for little kids, big kids, and teenagers.

creactive2.finI should mention that the Creactive staff includes a mix of Cirque du Soleil veterans and newbies who receive intense training before, you know, dangling you 20 feet up in the air.

spapool2The Spa Life…
In order to fully and accurately report on Club Med’s amenities, I had to visit and experience the L’Occitane spa (oh, the things I do for Momtrends!). I was treated to a 60-minute massage—and it was sensational. Granted, I spent the first 30 minutes obsessing about whether I froze enough breast milk back home (where is that darned off button for my brain?!?), but the second half of my massage was pure hypnotic, hallucinogenic, drool-worthy bliss. And the post-massage view—well, it took my breath away.

kids2.finI Want to Be a Kid Again..
I have to say I was absolutely blown away by what I saw of the kids’ club program. It’s like summer camp to the nth degree. The facilities are phenomenal, the staff is amazing, and the extra programs would make any kid beg for another minute, an extra hour… ONE more day… “Puh-leeeease, Mom and Dad!”

kids1.finalAs much as I enjoyed my solo trip, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much my little one would absolutely go bonkers playing in the kiddie pool, climbing the play structures, eating cotton candy and riding the animals at the weekly carnival, performing in the circus, and making friends from all over the world…

pressCome to think of it… I just made friends from all over the world too—fifty-five of them to be exact—in an absolutely dreamy destination. We ran away to Punta Cana, if only for three days, and joined the circus. It was better than sleep-away camp… It was Camp Creactive at Club Med. I can’t wait to return and share the experience with my family.

And, next time, I will hook my legs.

This is not a sponsored post. Flights, accommodations, activities, and meals were paid for as part of a media fam trip. All opinions are our own.

 

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Inside the #MomtrendsTravel Event

IMG_9678We’re passionate about travel at Momtrends. We love trying new things in new places, meeting new people, and making memories with those we love. It’s a privilege and honor to be able to take our families on adventures—and share our unique experiences with our readers.

We’re on a mission at Momtrends to get parents excited about travel—to inspire them to book trips, visit destinations, and create a generation of global citizens. It’s a goal we feel good about it—and it’s even more rewarding when our community of followers, in turn, respond with their own travel stories.

To celebrate new trends in travel, we gathered some blogger friends and a few favorite brands for our annual #MomtrendsTravel event at We Work in New York City. We talked about what’s new and exciting in travel, fashion, beauty, gear, and more, and got to see some incredible demos from our esteemed partners and sponsors.

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IMG_9682The backdrop of the venue was a beautiful map of the world created by Murals Wallpaper. While sipping XO, by G wine and networking, attendees were encouraged to mark the cities and countries they’ve visited. Murals Wallpaper creates other amazing fully customizable designs too—including outdoor-inspired “landscapes” that are perfect for a little adventurer’s bedroom. There was also an adorable “campsite” set up with a cute bear-print tent from Sprout and a faux s’mores station and sleeping bag from Land of Nod. Guardian was featured as a leading bug repellant brand for campers and glampers alike. DEET-free Guardian insect repellant helps to protect you and your family against mosquitoes and ticks with a safe plant-based formula that’s proven to work for four or more hours.

IMG_9845To kick off the festivities, Momtrends founder, Nicole, told us her own personal travel story. When Nicole’s first daughter was born, she didn’t wait long to get her little one a passport. She didn’t have a family trip planned at the time, but Nicole knew that a passport was the first step to giving her child the gift of travel—a priceless present that can’t be worn, or held, or played with, but is worth more in memories than any toy or token.

IMG_9847Next, the editor of New York Family, Eric Messenger, presented a few interesting tips and facts. Throughout his career, he’s learned that travel is the number one topic moms want to read about today. And, really, that should come as no surprise. As moms, we work hard, and the day-to-day grind can take a toll. We look forward to our family vacations—we’re excited about spending quality time with our husbands, our babies, and our growing families. He then let us in on a few trends he’s seeing in the industry. Did you know that the Poconos is about to have resurgence? Surprising as it may sound to those of us who associate the once popular destination with the 1980s (champagne glass hot tubs, anyone?), it’s a fact that, with the upcoming opening of indoor water parks like Aquatopia at Camelback Lodge, the Poconos is on the verge of a big comeback.

Finally, we got to see some of the must-have gear, apps, and products for traveling. Here’s what you need to know (and need to have!) before booking your next big trip.

IMG_9827barkTHINS
This innovative snack company was on hand with a plethora of samples for the taking (and eating!). Blended with nuts, seeds, fruits, pretzels, and sea salt, these delicious slivers of goodness are a great in-flight snack and a road-trip essential.

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IMG_9699Baby Bjorn
Traveling with a baby in tow is no easy task. But Baby Bjorn gear can help make Mom’s life a little easier. The travel crib light is portable and easy to assemble and collapse. It also makes for an incredibly comfortable sleeping and resting space for Baby—whether at a hotel or at Grandma’s house for the weekend.

The new generation Baby Bjorn carrier is soft and breathable, but also sturdy and reliable. Whether you’re wearing your infant on a flight, running errands, or touring around town, this mommy must-have lightens the load and frees up your hands.

Finally, the Baby Bjorn compact bouncer is great on the go. It folds up slim so you can easily take it with you on vacations or day trips.

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IMG_9884Miraclesuit
If you only pack one bathing suit in your luggage, make it a Miraclesuit. This truly magical line of products provides control, comfort, and confidence. The collection is chock full of flattering, functional, and fashionable styles that are slimming, versatile, and chic. We were treated to a fun little fashion show, with some of our blogger pals showing off the hottest styles.

IMG_9737ZzzQuil
Nicole revealed the items she packs in her toiletry bag. One of her favorite rituals is applying a cleansing and moisturizing mask once she arrives at her destination. She also packs ZzzQuil to ensure a good nights sleep.  We all know that traveling can really mess with your routine, your schedule, and your sleep. Luckily ZzzQuil helps you feel fresh and ready for the day so that you can enjoy your trip.

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IMG_9774GLAMSquad
Whether you’re at home, traveling for business, or away on vacation, you want to look your best. And now you never have to sacrifice beauty on the go with the help of GLAMSquad. This incredible service sends stylists to your hotel or apartment. Download the app, and you can have a blowout in no time—for just $50. The GLAMSquad stylists also demonstrated a few travel makeup and hair tips—because it’s time to make travel glamorous again.

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IMG_9721Yamis and Dawni
Packing for travel has never been easier thanks to Yamis and Dawni. With just eight versatile pieces, you can create over 50 different looks. The designers showed us how to transform your overall travel look with just a few simple steps. And a statement necklace never hurts either!

RuyCFmlSrGoNcQQuO5Jb6On_Ee1Ylz0klJyH3NEvcOs,xCQBoRU8wcxBCYOdcMgTwC8ql6cX0eJG6Lc9BXKuaLY9C7uBqGVHMPpXxhxgQJiYWkyxJ3umRj80sR451Fxuls,wpVCfHxqXIDYAE5t4PWYhJxftgRk2SS0VQAN9xyW3Q4OiOi Bags – Perfect travel bag for young families!

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Event Sponsors:
Melitta
Murals Wallpaper
The Container Store
Guardian Insect Repellant
OiOi
BarkThins
Baby Bjorn
Miraclesuit
Vicks Zzzquil
Glamsquad
Yamis and Dawni
New York Family
Apothederm
XO, by G
ACURE
The Land of Nod
Sprout

This post is not sponsored. The #MomtrendsTravel event was sponsored. All opinions are our own.

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