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Spring in San Diego (And 12 Things To Do While You’re There)

 

Our first trip with a baby!

A quick walk at Mission Trails and a stop to see the wildflowers.

A quick walk at Mission Trails and a stop to see the wildflowers.

Last month we got to escape the never-ending Minnesota winter and spend two weeks in sunny San Diego! And when I say never-ending, I actually mean it. There was a record-breaking snowstorm back home that dumped over a foot of snow in two days. Yikes.

This was our first time traveling a long distance with a baby, and I have to say, it wasn’t as hard as I imagined! We had great flights—4 hours nonstop in the middle of the day—and our first flight wasn’t full so we had a whole row to ourselves. Olivia adjusted to the time change very quickly and she experienced so many new things!

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Most of our trip photos were taking on my phone, as I’m trying to be more present in everyday moments instead of trying to capture every “beautiful” picture.

I did bring my DSLR along though! The 3 photos above (the palm tree, the yellow flower, and the flowers among the leaves) are ones that I submitted to Unsplash. Unsplash is a stock photo site that actually has (very) beautiful, free images for you to use. You can download my photos (I have more on there too) here!

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If you’re looking for recommendations on things to do in San Diego other than SeaWorld or the Zoo, here are my picks:

  • The beach

    • We went to a few beaches during our visit: Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, and Stan’s Beach in San Diego, and Moonlight State Beach in Encinitas. Ocean Beach has a really great laid back, hippy vibe to it. Marijuana is legal in California, so OB (as the locals call it) is probably not the best option for your family beach day. Moonlight State Beach was really nice, and you can walk up the shore and see the cliffs.

  • Taylor Guitars Factory Tour (every Monday through Friday at 1 pm)

    • This is an amazing tour! You get to see the entire process of guitar construction, from wood selection to final assembly. It’s free too.

  • Coronado Island

    • A trip to San Diego is not complete without a visit to Coronado Island. We love to walk along the Stan’s Beach; it’s gorgeous!

  • Sunset Cliffs

  • La Jolla

    • We got some ice cream here at Scoops La Jolla after walking by the coast and taking a look at the sea lions.

  • Mission Trails Regional Park

    • I wish we had more time to hike these trails! I really wanted to see some of the wildflowers that were blooming, so I researched and found a beautiful trail at this park. The Oak Canyon trail is more shady than some of the other trails, follows along a river, and isn’t too difficult of a hike.

  • Balboa Park

    • My favorite place to just stroll around. I have yet to hear music played at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, but if you’re able to, I’m sure it’s amazing! There are a bunch of interesting museums and peaceful gardens in the park and the architecture is absolutely breathtaking!

  • Pigment

    • This is my little shopping spot when we visit the area. It’s the cutest boutique ever with everything from succulents to home decor to baby goods.

  • The Purple Mint

    • If you’re looking for great vegan food, The Purple Mint won everyone over in our group, meat eaters included!

  • Miguel’s Cocina

    • There are a few locations around the San Diego area. We went to the one on Coronado Island, and mmmm was it good!

In Encinitas

  • Barrels and Branches

    • If you’re looking to bring home some new plant friends, I highly recommend coming here! I wanted to bring home every succulent I saw, but only got three (and a crystal too). After we stopped here, we went to Moonlight State Beach and walked along the shore.

  • Lotus Cafe

    • A great place to have lunch! They also offer a wide variety of fresh made-to-order juices, smoothies, and shakes.

I need this stuffed octopus for Olivia! Pigment is just the cutest boutique.

I need this stuffed octopus for Olivia! Pigment is just the cutest boutique.

Plants I wish I could take back home with me from Barrels and Branches.

Plants I wish I could take back home with me from Barrels and Branches.

The cutest little greenhouse at Barrels and Branches.

The cutest little greenhouse at Barrels and Branches.

We had a great time in San Diego. We hope to go back every year to visit family and start a tradition. Olivia grew a lot while we were there and it has been amazing seeing her personality shine through! Also, now she knows that the outside world isn’t always cold and snowy lol.

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Have you been to San Diego? What are your favorite places? I’d love to know for our future trips!


 

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Purchases That Don’t Involve Clipping Coupons

 

Easy tips for saving money.

How to save money

*Links with an asterisk are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through those links, thank you for supporting Meadow Sweet Lane! xo


When I was 8 or 9, my favorite thing to do on Sunday mornings was to take the advertisements from the Sunday paper, sit on the floor, look through each ad, and clip coupons for the family. I loved it. I did it for years. In fact, I still do when I visit my parents (who still subscribe to the paper newspaper). Looking back, that’s probably one of the reasons I studied marketing in college. Seems like I’ve always had an interest in it!

I also still coupon, although I do it a bit differently today. As a busy mama the only true coupons I usually use are the ones in Cartwheel in the Target app and the occasional Coupons.com printable ones.

I’m always looking for ways to save though! Keep reading to learn some easy ways to save money on your purchases without needing to clip coupons!

5 ways to save money on your purchases that don’t involve clipping coupons

How to save money

Use apps

HONEY*

Honey is probably best known for its browser extension that tests out all available coupon codes for you at the click of a button. No more Googling “[store name] discount code” and trying to find one that works. Honey also makes sure you get the best price on Amazon and gives you Honey Gold (their version of points) that you can cash in for gift cards.

IBOTTA*

Ibotta is a great rebate app! You get cash back on things you actually buy. Just add rebate offers from the store(s) you shop at, purchase the items, scan your receipt, and voilà! Money back! You can transfer your cash to PayPal, Venmo, or gift cards.

Add to cart, but wait a day to fully Check out

If you’re not in a rush, this can be a neat way to get a discount on sites that don’t typically have sales or codes available. Some stores will send abandoned carts a discount via email to incentivize you to purchase. Depending on the store, this might or might not work, but it is worth a try!

Shop end of season sales

End of season sales are great because stores are trying to clear out old inventory to make room for next season, which means discounts for you! Spring/summer merchandise usually goes on clearance in June and July and fall/winter items usually goes on sale in January. I recommend shopping early on during the sales rather than waiting for steeper discounts because items that are popular and/or in your size might sell out fast.

Use Discounted Gift cards (big purchases especially)

RAISE*

If you shop at a certain store a lot, or are planning on making a big purchase, consider buying discounted gift cards. For example, you can buy a J.Crew gift card for $188 that’s worth $200, saving you $12. Or a $470 Hotels.com gift card that’s worth $500, saving you $30! The higher the dollar value of the card is, the more you’ll save.

Sign up for free store rewards programs

The key here is “free”. Some of my favorite loyalty programs are Madewell’s Insider, Nordstrom’s The Nordy Club, and being a Target RedCard holder. If you shop somewhere regularly, this should be an easy way to get discounts!


What are some of the ways you save money on purchases? Comment below!

 

The Sweet List | no. 2

 
lettering by    @thatfeelingco

lettering by @thatfeelingco

Is it really March?

I’m so excited for spring! Snow is great and all, but come March, the temp needs to be on its way up. I’ve been working on a few projects during Olivia’s naps and bedtime. One is the blog, because I hope to post on here more consistently. And the other is an Etsy shop!

A few days ago I launched Meadowsweet Press, an stationery shop! There aren’t that many listings currently, as my days are pretty full taking care of my baby, but I plan to add more in the coming weeks and months. The first two designs were actually the designs I made for my two baby showers last summer (that my mother and mother-in-law so graciously hosted). Check it out and let me know what you think!

In other news...

  1. We’ve got mountains for snow everywhere still. February was a record-breaking snowfall month. This video gave me some late night entertainment!

  2. Trivia Time: Do you know who was on the very first United States postage stamp ever issued? Nope, not George Washington (he was on the second stamp). It was Benjamin Franklin! The 5¢ stamp was issued in 1847 and features Franklin’s portrait because he’s credited with organizing America’s postal service back in the 1700s. Keep this in mind next time you’re on a game show ;)

  3. If you want to be in the know on where to buy all the gorgeous, high quality, boutique goods from around the world, join the Brand Knew Facebook group!

  4. Counting down the days until Wildbird launches their S/S 19 collection! They’ll be having an end of season sale this month if you’re thinking of purchasing one (which you totally should!)

  5. I’m reading all I can about child development these days. Olivia has been wanting more and more new experiences. If you have little babes at home, two Instagram accounts highly I recommend you follow are CanDoKiddo and BusyToddler. Both share awesome developmental activities for babies and toddlers!

  6. I’m making a list of places to visit in San Diego next month and I’m swooning over the aesthetic of the Leo nail salon!

  7. The new Jonas Brother’s single has 11-year-old me fangirl-ing all over again.


Pin(s) of the Week

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5 Need-to-Know Ethical Clothing Brands

 

These companies are betting against fast fashion.

Photo by  Ian Keefe

Photo by Ian Keefe

I’m in the middle of a complete wardrobe revamp right now. I’ve learned a LOT about myself and my style over the past couple of years and my old wardrobe just doesn’t fit who I am anymore (hello nursing mom bod). So, I’ve decided to trade out my fast fashion clothing items for ethically-made, higher-quality pieces. Purchasing these items slowly over time is allowing me to curate my wardrobe to best fit my budget and lifestyle.

I’ll share the details of how to revamp your wardrobe in another post, but today I want to share five of my favorite ethical clothing brands!


*Links with an asterisk are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through those links, thank you for supporting Meadow Sweet Lane! xo


Everlane*

Best for: Denim and sweaters

One of the best known ethical clothing companies, Everlane is changing the fashion industry with their commitment to Radical Transparency. Each listing has a link to view photos of the factory where the item is made, and the true cost-breakdown of each piece. While you can’t go wrong with any of their items, their denim, recycled polyester fleece jackets and sweaters, and $100 cashmere are outstanding!


Krochet Kids

Best for: Casual basics

Krochet Kids has an amazing mission. Not only do they provide job opportunities and anti-poverty wages to women around the world, but each item is hand-signed by the person who made it. You’re able to visit the profile of the woman who made your product, so you can learn her story and write a note of thanks! Shop here for fair-trade dresses and men’s and women’s casual tops, as well as winter hats.


Pact Apparel

Best for: Undergarments and leggings

Pact is a fair-trade company that sources only long-staple 100% organic cotton, which means no pesticides and fertilizers. Their Certified Organic Cotton consumes very little water compared to conventional cotton. Pact has amazing underwear, leggings, and hoodies for men and women, and organic cotton onesies for baby! Use this link* to get 20% off your first order!


Reformation

Best for: Trendy pieces

With their own factory in Los Angeles, this brand creates products only from sustainable and up-cycled materials in a fair wage environment. Plus, each item comes with a description of its environmental footprint. If you love fashion, Reformation has stylish dresses and tops, including formal and bridal dresses!


Outdoor Voices

Best for: Activewear

Outdoor Voices is a great ethical alternative for purchasing activewear. They take great care in the selection of their factory partners, and are always on the lookout for better, more sustainable technical fabrics for getting sweaty in, like their recycled polyester made from water bottles and their sustainably-produced Merino wool. Use this link* for $20 off your order!

There are many more great companies out there, but these are some of my favorites. I encourage you to be a conscious consumer. Together, we can make a difference.


Do you have any favorite ethical and sustainable brands? I’d love to know! Share them in the comments below!