Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach

Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

-Thomas Merton

Growing up, every Summer my parents would take my sister and I to the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach. We would look in awe of the glassblowers, get a new toe ring and maybe share a scoop of ice cream. Although I would never classify my parents as artists, their appreciation for art was always unintentionally present.

This year I decided to incorporate a visit to the Sawdust Festival in our Summer plans. To be honest I was a little apprehensive, as my son is only 5, but today we went for it and had a blast! We made a full day of it by stopping for lunch at Avila’s El Ranchito on PCH, caught the free shuttle in The Village and headed straight towards to our destination.

I am shamelessly the mom who is always thinking of what activity we can do next. I love being active. I love being creative. I love learning experiencing new (and old) things. And I really love taking my son along for the ride. Admittedly, it’s hard for me to slow down and remember it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Today was about the journey- and it was perfect.

The shuttle ride was fun in and of itself. We don’t get to experience the shuttle in our day-to-day lives, so it was a treat to walk to the stop, wait (somewhat patiently), check the shuttle on the tracker, and then FINALLY seeing it arrive. We really only went to two stops, but again, it’s about the journey 🙂

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The Trolley Tracker is really user friendly and such a great tool to use if you want to travel through Laguna Beach without the hassle of driving and parking your own car. I actually didn’t really need to use that much. We just walked around until we found the Free Shuttle sign, but we weren’t really in a rush so that worked for us.

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Once we arrived at The Sawdust Festival we jumped in line to purchase our tickets. You can purchase them online prior to arriving, but I opted to just pay at the door. And great news: kids 5 and under are free! I mean…does that ever happen!? You can check out the rest of the prices right here.

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The Sawdust Festival was everything I remember it being. Winding alleys leading down different paths, live music, and lots of art. Our first stop was at the Pottery Wheel where B got to make his own clay bowl. What an experience that was! I am so grateful to the young college kids who really take the time to help guide the kids as they mold their own creation. Once finished you have the option to take it home as is (once dried) for free! Or you can pay $25 to have it glazed and shipped to your home. We decided to have it glazed that way B can eat “cereal, oatmeal or fruit” out of it – B’s words 🙂

After that we made our way through all of the beautiful art. We saw; a man painting a picture of the ocean, the infamous glassblowers, and so many unique creations. Dip n’ Dots were calling our name so we took an ice cream break under the shade. Once our bellies were full we headed over to the kids art corner for a Rhyme & Drawing Class. I think this was the highlight of my day!

This art class was completely free and the man (Brent Kreischer) teaching the class was so incredible with the kids. He asked each kid to name their “favorite things” and then collectively name something that rhymed with each item, even if it wasn’t a word. His philosophy was: “Dr. Seuss made up words and followed no rules, and everyone enjoys Dr. Seuss.”

B was enthralled. I was impressed. Brent went around to each kid and they created a rhyme that complemented the picture that they drew. It was really wonderful.

Once we finished the class it was time to head back. On our way out we were stopped by a charismatic woman who offered to make B a balloon animal – he chose a Stegosauras.

As a whole I was really impressed by how kid friendly The Sawdust Festival was, and how attentive all of the artists were. We left with big smiles on our faces and B even asked me if we were going to come back next year. I think that is a big yes!

Have you been to the Sawdust Festival this year? What is your favorite thing to do there?

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Moms’ Night Out

Moms’ Night Out

During school breaks my son gets to spend that time with his dad. I love it for many reasons; one being that B gets that quality time with his dad, and two, I get some “me time”. This past week was spring break – which meant I had 3 full nights with no kiddo! Every time I get a break I tell myself I’m going to take advantage and go out every night. But more times than not, I don’t do it. As the day (or night) gets closer, I end up longing to be at home either just lounging or during work around the house. However, I rarely am social with friends when my son is home with me. I don’t get to have him at home all of the time,  so I want to soak it up as much as I can. Plus, I have crazy mom guilt when it comes to leaving him; especially at bed time.  He’s in a phase where he really wants me home to put him to bed. I figure this isn’t going to be forever, so I do want to make the conscious effort to be there whenever I can. However, he was gone this past week so I chose two nights at home and one night out with friends… hey, it’s a step!

In my twenties I worked at a restaurant in Laguna Beach with some of my best friends. Many of us worked there on and off for many years; it was essentially our home away from home. If we would have been allowed to sleep there, I think we would have! The owners are a sweet married couple that always had their arms open for us to return any time we wanted. I had a lot of fun during that time of my life. We all did!

I was lucky enough to meet up with a few of my old friends/co-workers at our old stomping ground. We laughed so hard remembering all of our crazy adventures… Well, what we could remember of it anyway! Life before kids was such a different time. It’s always so interesting to look back on what our lives were like and how far we’ve come. You never think your life is going to change that much, but it does and it becomes a blessing.

While I got to escape from being “on duty”, I never feel like I’m “off the clock.” I don’t know if this just happens to moms or if it’s a parent thing; but my mind is never too far from my mom responsibilities. It’s really hard for me to turn that switch off and completely let go. Not that I’m being paranoid or I’m worried about my son, but it’s more that my whole being is a mom now. While I have an identity outside of being a mother, “momming” is a huge part of my soul and I genuinely love that part of my self. But, I know I really need to work on being more social in adult setting. It’s really hard for me to do that – but I’m working on it!

When or how do you make time for yourself? And when you do; do you ever feel like you can just turn off being a mom? If so, how do you do it?! Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear!

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Avila’s El Ranchito in Laguna Beach.

Grab a seat, order a taco and sip on a marg.