Road-Tested, Sofia-Approved

Snack and Play Travel Tray, by Star Kids

Okay, mamas. This is the Snack and Play Travel Tray:

Travel Tray  

Have you seen this thing before? I hadn’t. Not until I got one for our trip to Santa Barbara. Now I see it pretty much every day, because this thing is awesome.  Here’s how it works. You strap your kid into her car seat (or stroller, or even her wheelchair!) And then you strap the Snack and Play around both her and the seat. Stuff some crayons, a coloring book, a sippy cup, and maybe a snack bar into those pockets on the sides. And then…. NOTHING.

You drive to Santa Barbara. You enjoy your walk. Whatever. Your little traveler is busy, busy, busy back there with a soft/firm, flexible/flat surface to work on, and plenty of secure pockets where she can reach all her favorite things all by herself. When you’re ready to get out for a little potty break, just unbuckle one side, and strap her right back in when you’re ready to go again.

See, the best features of this tray are what you don’t have to do:

  1. You don’t have to hunt blindly with your free hand for the fallen sippy cup.
  2. You don’t have to dole out french fry after french fry to avoid a spill.
  3. You don’t have to constantly pick up the toy she dropped.
  4. You don’t have to hear the iPad, phone, or gaming device hit the floor when she falls asleep! (WINNER!)

Sofia loved it. And I was kind of stoked about the fact that my car was not covered in fruit snacks and half-melted crayons when we arrived. It was the perfect place for her to rest the iPad or draw, and yet the stiff foam was soft enough to not bother her legs at all.

This is the genius behind the Snack and Play Travel Tray– they made it out of this perfect foam that crumples on impact if you’re ever in an accident, but still holds up to serve as a little table. So I was able to drive all the way to our destination with no worries about spills, pass-the-snack, or a collision.

I’m a fan, people. Try it out! You can see one at our next Mommytrain event, or go ahead and pick one up here:




Get Ready for Playdate Nirvana

June 20, 2013

Pamperplay_1Pamper & Play

Forget the planned activities, the crying, the stress of chasing your toddler around as she tries to bite your girlfriend’s son on the ankle. This is a whole new kind of playdate. The kind you don’t have to supervise. Imagine… you drop your kids off in the cozy indoor playground on the bottom floor, and you leave the room. It’s okay, because there are trained, background­checked, kid­loving staff down there who will make sure your tot not only keeps his teeth off his neighbor, but has a great time, too.

Meanwhile, you head upstairs to the place of mommy legend: The Lounge. The quiet, wifi equipped, coffee lounge, with easy chairs and a mysterious lack of whining, plus adult company with other moms who will laugh at your lost diaper story and cry with you over the loss of your bikini belly. These moms are here for the exact same reasons you are, fun for the kids and restoration for the mamas. This is the beauty of Pamper & Play. And that is not all. Oh, no, that is not all.
There is also Parents’ Night Out, when you get to drive away from the building and do whatever the heck you want for four hours. Hit the spa. Date your husband. Buy groceries the way you used to, with an unchewed list and unbroken concentration. Whatever floats your boat.

The kids will be busy learning yoga or art or science, eating pizza, or doing crafts and water play outside, while you do what you despaired of ever doing again­­ take care of you. Even if you don’t want to travel so far away from your urchins, there happens to be a lovely salon one door down, where you can get your hair cut in peace by a real stylist, which is about 45 times better than a four­year­old with safety scissors.
How did Pamper & Play happen? Owner Carole Cablk noticed a common thread in local supervised play venues. The kids may have been having a blast, but the moms… not so much. Often they had no place to sit except for the front sidewalk or a hard bench, where they whipped out their smart phones and took advantage of the downtime as best they could. Suddenly the need became obvious­­ a place where moms could feel welcome and nurtured and comfortable enough to make friends at the same time their kids did. A place with cushions and caffeine and wifi. And Carole could make the best use of her natural love of kids by building the most safe, fun, nurturing indoor playground in West L.A.

So there you have it. No excuses for that impending breakdown that you’ve felt coming on slowly for weeks now. Head it off with a mommy­friendly playdate, class, or party at Pamper & Play. No one will bite. Not even your kid.


Ana & Daniela