On Friday, Mar. 30, from 6:30-10 p.m. 30 women will meet at Boulders on Southern for a speed dating event. But, instead of searching for a romantic connection, they’re looking for a fellow, local… More
Your life is probably just as busy as mine. There’s work…and maybe you run a business or two. Kids, pets and significant others appointments, school and other activities. Then there’s laundry, keeping the house tidy and well stocked, groceries, bill paying, vehicle maintentance and meal prep. Someone’s got to make sure the bills are paid, the insurance is current and prescriptions are filled. The landscaping, home maintenance and pest control needs to be kept up. Every year the taxes have to be filed and maybe, just maybe this is the year you are buying or selling your home.
Phew… I’m tired just thinking about it. Are you?
Are you feeling defeated? Like there isn’t any balance? Either your house is clean or you get to spend time with your kids? Either you eat healthy meals or the laundry and landscaping get done. Doesn’t it get a little stressful around tax time when turbo tax isn’t working right or you aren’t sure about the deductions? Then there’s the house… did you disclose appropriately to keep your butt out of court in the future? Did you price the house right? Stage it appropriately? Do you know where to market and how to market? Is that stranger really interested in your house or are they casing the joint and seeing what you have for a security system so they can rob you blind later?
Now I’m not only tired, I’m super stressed.
Back in the day, it was cool to DIY. Your parents probably changed their own oil, did the landscaping and taxes, etc. Most likely they were always sick, tired and really grouchy. Do you find yourself following in their footsteps thinking this is just “life”.
Well, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Everyone has the same 24 hours and you aren’t going to get it all done. It’s just impossible. The key to balance is leverage and the key to leverage is mindset. Change your mindset, change your life. You don’t have to follow in your parents footsteps.
Automate everything that you possibly can. Set up automatic bill payment online, get on auto ship programs for the products you love (I LOVE Melaleuca auto ship), add recurring events to your calendar and set it to remind you for things like vehicle registrations, call the AC guy for the yearly tune-up, oil change reminders, etc.
Pay experienced professionals what they are worth to handle some of the things you just aren’t experienced in, good at or the things that just don’t please you to have to do.
Hire a landscaper, a house cleaner, a professional tax preparer, a mechanic, a pest control person, a handyman and a professional real estate Broker. Hire a professional that preps meals or at least gets your groceries delivered to your door. Hire a kid from the neighborhood to walk the dog. Pay these people what they are worth. You get what you pay for here…do not forget that old saying. I cringe when I see people make the mistake of hiring the least expensive person. THEY ALWAYS wish they had hired a true professional in the end. It ALWAYS costs you more when you go cheap.
Trust me, you do have the money. Budget for this. You’ll be more happy. You’ll have more time. You’ll be more productive at work or in your business. Life all around will be more enjoyable. You’ll spend more time with your family. At the end of the day, it’s all about enjoyment. Stop doing the things you hate to do and are not good at and kills your time. Leave it to the pros that do it every day. You’ll thank me and yourself later.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Good luck achieving the balance! It is achievable.
The New Year brings with it a bright, shiny new feeling that only comes at the start of something new. And with these bright new beginnings come… new
promises. New Year Resolutions are an awesome way to reflect on your wants and needs, as humans, as MOMs, as everything that you are!
Make sure you are setting yourself up for success and enter the New Year Resolution mindset realistically. Often, we set resolutions that are just not obtainable in verbiage alone. Rather than, “I want to workout seven days a week,” start with, “I want to workout more.” Rather than making complete life changes, make small ones and work your way up. Acknowledge your effort and your work! Count the little wins that make the big impact!
Here at MOMnation, we believe in keeping it FUN! That’s why we compiled this list based on your new year resolutions to help you accomplish your goals.
If your resolution is: GET IN SHAPE
Last year, the most common New Year’s resolution was exercise more, at 38%. That was followed closely by 33% of people saying they were going to lose weight. Safe to say, our physical health is easily the first thing on our minds as we head into a new year. But keeping up with these goals is a little more difficult.
These days, fun runs are everywhere – and you don’t have to be a “runner” to participate. With the pleasant weather in Arizona early in the year, you’ll have an extensive and varied list to choose from. Some of our favorites:
Phoenix Women’s Half half marathon, 10K, 5K – https://raceroster.com/events/2018/13457/b3rd-annual-phoenix-womens-halfb
Runner’s Den Pancake Run 5K, 10K, and kids run is coming up in early February: http://www.runnersdenpancakerun.com/
East Valley Runners holds different distance runs every week – from hills to track workouts. Check out their meetup page here.
One of the best parts about living in the Valley is that by the very definition, we are surrounded by mountains. There’s nothing better for both body and mind than getting outside on one of our beautiful desert trails.
San Tan Mountain Regional Park: Over 10,000 acres, we love this park that exhibits Arizona so well! Make sure you take a picture with the giant saguaro. Get more info here: https://www.maricopacountyparks.net/park-locator/san-tan-mountain-regional-park/
Phoenix Mountains Preserve – includes Piestewa Peak, which is relatively well-known and busy, but very central with easy access – https://www.visitphoenix.com/things-to-do/outdoors/biking-hiking/phoenix-mountains-preserve/
Lost Dutchmen trail at the Superstition Mountains – one of our favorite desert spots to explore, there are plenty of trails to lose the crowds. Make sure to take a map and tell someone where you’re going. https://azstateparks.com/lost-dutchman
Join us for MN Bootcamp! January 6th and 20th. More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2065718150114341/
If your resolution is: MAKE MORE TIME FOR MOM+DAD! Hello! DATE NIGHT
We love family time. We really do. But after a busy holiday season, sometimes Mom and Dad need a little time together – sans kids. And in-laws. And kids. It’s time to reinstate the date night!
New Restaurants + Restaurant Openings
No matter the cuisine, you can find it in Phoenix and the East Valley! Despite our ever-evolving options, it’s easy to get comfortable with a restaurant or two and eat there well past you’ve made your way through the entire menu.
Here are some of our favorite existing restaurants, and a few new ones that are opening soon to get excited about:
Scramble – Early 2018. Why not do a date breakfast? This casual breakfast and lunch spot is slated to open a new location within the Shoppes at Casa Paloma in Chandler.
Bistro1528 – This restaurant has the perfect ambiance and is always good. It’s a San Tan Valley favorite for date night!
Hash Kitchen – Spring 2018. Already a popular brunch destination in Scottsdale, Has Kitchen is bringing its Bloody Mary bar and delicious hash dishes to Raintree Ranch Center in Chandler this spring.
Meridiem Kitchen and Lounge: We love this new kitchen and lounge! They have a great menu with tons of options… and, they have two bars and lots of wine.
Little Miss BBQ – Early 2018. This new Sunnyslope spot will be the second location of the nationally acclaimed barbecue joint, adding dinner hours and more to the menu.
Winter MesaFest 2018 – Held on January 6, this free event features local music, arts and crafts for sale, and tons of delicious food.
First Fridays – You can visit more than 60 downtown Phoenix art galleries, studios and art spaces on the first Friday of every month. An amazing, free way to see some of the Valley’s best art.
Concerts – 2018 is shaping up to be a great year for music and comedy in AZ. From Willie Nelson to Milky Chance, Katy Perry to the Harry Potter film shown with the Phoenix Orchestra live…you and your hubby are sure to find something you’ll both enjoy. See the whole calendar and book tickets here – http://www.phoenixconcerts.net/
If your resolution is: LEARN A NEW SKILL OR HOBBY (ME TIME, AMIRITE?)
You have to take care of yourself in order to keep everything else running smoothly! And nothing will make you feel better than acquiring a new passion. Check out these classes below:
Make New Mom Friends
We hold over fifteen events a month! From helping with life skills, hosting night’s out, and everything in between, it’s never boring at MOMnation Events: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MOMnationAZ/events/
Classes and workshops
Plants: From landscaping and gardening, to cooking or photography, the Desert Botanical Garden offers a long list of workshops for a range of experience levels.
Camelback Flowershop holds several bouquet, flower crown, succulent garden and atrium design classes throughout the year. https://camelbackflowershop.com/collections/design-workshops
Art, Crafting and Scrapbooking: Stores like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and Paper Source offer all kinds of DIY-style classes and workshops throughout the Valley. You can unleash your inner artist at The Phoenix Art Museum and Scottsdale Artists’ School.
Cooking: With locations like Sweet Basil – www.sweetbasilgourmet.com, Sur la Table – www.surlatable.com, and the Classic Cooking Academy – www.ccacademy.edu, you can get hands-on instruction in the kitchen, and then get to eat what you create.
If your resolution is: IMPROVE FINANCES
Let’s face it. Talking about money is never fun, especially when the wallet is feeling a little light. But when we are focusing on the future, getting finances in order is vital. Don’t worry! There are tools that are designed just for this purpose. Bonus – the majority of the above activities and ideas are free!
Use your technology
Phone apps like Mint and online personal sites like LearnVest.com are simple but also incredibly helpful when managing money. They can help you set budgets, schedule payments, track spending and more.
Utilize the people who do this for a living
You’d be surprised at the countless amenities offered by the bank you already use! Give them a call, or check out their online banking site to see what amenities are available to you. We also have some great MOMs that help with financial planning!
This is by no means an exhaustive list. We live in a wonderful city, full of opportunities to help us keep those New Year’s resolutions, whatever they may be. Best of luck to you…and Happy 2018!
As we roll into December, there’s no avoiding that the holiday season is in full swing. So, if you’ve found yourself mesmerized by a twerking Santa in a random aisle in Walgreens, pondering how to bring holiday cheer to your loved ones, we’ve got you covered.
Which one of these traditions are you going to adopt?
Thanks to a wildly popular advertising campaign in the 70s, Japanese families flock to KFC for dinner on Christmas Eve. The “Christmas chicken” bucket has become so popular that people order their bucket months in advance.
Bake & Bond
Whether or not you eat sweets during the holidays, baking is one of the best ways to bond with your littles and earn bestie status with the neighborhood mom stroller strides group. We’ve noticed that the traditional and iconic gingerbread cookies have taken a back seat to a slew of witty concoctions fed to us through Pinterest- (that never REALLY turn out like the pictures #MomFail)
One recipe that has been a consistent hit during the snowy season and has found its way as a ‘go to” staple is ::drumroll please:: “reindeer droppings. “ Yes, you read that right, as if us mom’s need another reason to say the word poop. Thanks to Google, there are many different, simple and inexpensive recipes that can fit your family’s dietary needs. Therefore, you have no excuse not to start this easy tradition with your family. ::YAY::
“Different” Versions of Santa
Not everyone in Europe subscribes to our American idea of Santa Claus. In Italy, Italian children await the arrival of Befana, a friendly witch who delivers presents because she feels guilty for missing the birth of Jesus – due to too much housework. We can relate.
Our personal favorite is the Catalan Christmas tradition of the Tió de Nadal (or Caga Tió) – the pooping log. First, a log is hollowed out and a smiley face and red floppy hat are added. Catalonian families begin “feeding” him small treats on December 8. On Christmas Day, the log is placed in the fireplace and beat with sticks until he, well, poops out candies, fruits and nuts. Bonus – there’s a song to go with the beating.
Hazelnuts and mató cheese,
If you don’t poop well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
The end of the defecation session is signaled by a salted herring or an onion. Once everyone in the family has collected their gifts from Tió de Nadal, he is burned for warmth. Gracias, Caga Tió.
Non-Pinterest White Elephant
Surely, in one of your social circles you’ve heard of White Elephant. If you haven’t, this holiday tradition is an inexpensive, gutsy way of getting rid of something that collects dust in your house (Score!). Families who plan gift-giving parties together will select a “white elephant” gift from their own house to give as a present- whether grandma’s old rabbit embroidered pillow that needs a new home or a dead houseplant, these exchanges are fun and corky- not the new iPhone X- like one would hope. White Elephant is becoming a staple tradition in most homes across North America. If you decide to play the White Elephant game with your family, there are also different versions of this tradition such as “only homemade DIY items” or “something from inside your own home”- clarify with your crew so everyone’s on the same page!
Apparently, holidays aren’t JUST about gaining weight. This holiday tradition is actually festive and healthy. We’ve all heard of our cities having ‘color runs’ right? Well, the new tradition for your holiday season and for families across the states are organized ‘Santa Run’s’ or ‘Reindeer romps’. Clever titles will give you a sense of accomplishment and brings awareness to specified charities. Dress up as Santa, put bells on, hey, we’ve even seen someone dressed up as their best representation of a menorah. We especially love when strollers cruise by with sporting reindeer being pushed to the finish line. What’s better than communities coming together to spread holiday cheer with positive results?! Now, if we only could find our running shoes.
Elf on the Shelf
Please tell me you bought one of these behavioral tools? We have parent’s waiting for December 1st so that their children’s “friend” can come out of hiding. Why, you ask? Well these clever additions to your family are designed to help “watch” your littles behavior in order to calm meltdowns and improve listening. We know what you’re thinking, how did this become a holiday tradition? Well, these gimmicks play a magical roll in not only our children’s lives but our lives as well! Santa’s ‘Scout Elf’ has enough Christmas magic to fly to the North Pole every night and report to Santa whether your children have been naughty or nice. After their nightly report, the ‘Scout Elf’ flies back to your home and relocates in a different spot. Children love waking up to find the elf and hopefully* (major asterisk on that one) are better behaved while they know the elf is watching.
Garbage Party …?
If you’re looking for ways to get your kids to do more chores, introduce them to this tradition from Guatemala.
Guatemalan families collect garbage and sweep out their houses every year before Christmas, with each neighborhood creating a large pile. They then place an effigy of the devil on top and burn it. With the scent of burning garbage in the air, Christmas celebrations can commence.
..Just ask your neighbors first, okay?
All in all, holiday traditions are about having FUN and creating lasting memories with family and friends. Does your family have any fun/odd/awesome traditions for the holidays? We would love to hear your favorites and where they originated. And if you decide to have a pooping log this year, we want to see photos. And videos.
Merry Christmas, all!
Get yourself a stunning new home for Christmas! Check out this Queen Creek home we adore:
Learn more by clicking here.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – but sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. The holiday season can be a difficult and stressful time for many, especially those families who are struggling financially.
MOMNation is built on the premise of helping other Moms through fostering a true digital and real-life community. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of websites and physical locations throughout Arizona where you and your family can find the assistance you need – and a little holiday cheer.
From essentials like food, clothing and housing to disability and veteran services, 211Arizona is an excellent resource for all human services. If you are looking for help regarding domestic violence, mental health support, employment services, or programs for veterans or those with disabilities, this site can point you in the right direction.
As the name suggests, this site is a one-stop shop for all things financial. Here you can find information on charity organizations and assistance programs that provide struggling families help with paying bills and taxes, mortgages, and debts.
Not only does this site include a nationwide directory that provides an extensive list of homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food banks by state, it also has an excellent directory of other resources.
With 2Hands, you can post about a specific need directly on the website, and if someone in their growing group of nationwide members can help you, you are connected through the website. By connecting individuals in need with those who have the means to help, this assistance platform allows people to help others on a very personal level. No Grinches here!
A New Leaf provides a broad spectrum of services for individuals and families alike. Not only can they help to support your family’s basic immediate needs, they can counsel you on critical lifelong skills like budgeting, career programs and housing assistance.
If you’re struggling to put food on the table, visit foodpantries.org. With nearly 300 food pantries in Arizona alone, this site is an excellent resource to locate local food banks and soup kitchens, as well as subsidized groceries. While food pantries can help you any time of year, the holiday season sees an increase in donations. Their directory can help you find free or subsidized food in your area.
One of the most well known organizations, the Salvation Army really ramps up their services during the holidays. With locations all over the Valley, you can look to the Salvation Army to provide youth and senior programs, homeless assistance, and worship services. During December, kids under 12 are eligible for the Christmas Angel program, so no child should go without the joy of a new toy on Christmas.
Phoenix Children’s Project Christmas Assistance
We all want our children to experience the joy and wonder of Christmas. This program helps children living below the poverty level in Phoenix get toys, home-baked treats, shoes, clothes and other essentials.
For more information, you can call 602-955-2228
East Valley Arizona Food Banks
We’ve compiled this list of food banks throughout Arizona for those in need to utilize year-round.
Arizona Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) provides food to people experiencing homelessness, low-income senior citizens, families and individuals, year-round There is no fee to receive emergency food assistance. For more information, visit them online or call: 855-432-7587
There’s no need to be ashamed if you need to reach out for help – at any time. The end of the year and the holidays that come with it can be overwhelming. But if you are in need of a miracle this holiday season, there’s a sleigh full of resources we hope you can take advantage of! And as always, reach out directly to MOMNation to receive support and guidance from your local community of MOMs.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!!
What Women Are Not Being Told About Pregnancy-Related Pain
It is estimated that at least 50% of women who are pregnant will experience low back or pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. It is a fairly common expectation of pregnancy. Our bodies change as baby (or babies) grow and we experience changes in hormones, potential changes in sleep patterns and changes in the mechanical function of our bodies. No surprise that aches and pains arise, right?
It is ok to acknowledge this potential pain and discomfort as long as we are also keeping women well informed about the fact that there is help with it during pregnancy. That is often the missing piece that women are not being told: common pregnancy-related pain should not be considered “normal” pain that you just have to deal with. In fact, some of those aches and pains can continue to progress after pregnancy into postpartum, so beginning to address them early is, at the very least, providing your body with help from the onset.
Several months ago I was invited by Tara of Organic Birthing Hypnobirthing to provide a few quick tips on how to help with pregnancy-related pain. Below you’ll find the tips I discussed and a video showing you how to safely and comfortably practice these poses. Of course, there are more than just three, but for many, these three are a great start to relieving discomfort.
(More of a visual learner? Keep scrolling for the video version)
“Hug the Baby”
This movement is used to activate the low core muscles and create movement in the belly. During pregnancy, many women feel that they lose connection to their core (abdominal) muscles. This gentle contraction of the low core provides a nice movement of the belly and helps to keep the core “connected.” It is a myth that women cannot keep their core connected and strong during pregnancy.
Yogis will appreciate the benefits of this position. A slight widening of the legs can help to create room for baby. This position provides a nice stretch along the back down around the sacrum and into the hips.
The deep squat is great for stretching the hips and the pelvic floor. It is an important stretch to include in birth preparation. This squat takes the pelvis straight down toward the floor, as where a basic squat is often done with a posture as if one was getting ready to sit in a chair. This stretch should always be done carefully, so holding onto a chair or non-movable support is fine. This can also be modified as the pregnancy progresses or if the full squat is not attainable.
Remember: especially when stretching and exercising as an expecting mom, keep incorporating breath. Breathe through the movement and listen to your body.
Dr. Robyn Wilhelm, PT, DPT is a perinatal and pelvic Physical Therapist specializing in pelvic floor and women’s health physical therapy. Connect with Dr. Wilhelm on her practice website: http://www.wilhelmpt.com.
The winner of our HQ birthday party giveaway is…
This event was sponsored by Team Evolution Real Estate.
At last! October in AZ has arrived!! Time for outdoor living, zoo trips, park play dates and, of course, HALLOWEEN!
Over at MOMnation, we know it can be tough to narrow down the fun, so we put it all in one place. Below you’ll find all the info you need for a family and fun-filled fall season.
MOMnationMarket and Halloween party is happening at HQ on October 28th. MacPea Photography will be there with a cute little Halloween set-up and will be offering photo minis! All market vendors will have candy for the kiddo’s and Liz with Pop’n Art will be face painting.
For more info and to RSVP, click here.
Queen Creek Trunk or Treat is happening on October 21st from 5p to 9p. Children trick-or-treat by going from car trunk to car trunk on “Trunk or Treat Street” to get their bag filled with goodies. Admission is free.
For more info, click here.
The SpOoOoKieST Trick or Treating Locations
Our MOMs love these neighborhoods for the best trick or treating and the spookiest decorations.
San Tan Ranch
Circle G Ranch
Gilbert also has The Halloween House!
San Tan Valley:
Circle Cross Ranch
Desert Ridge Aviano
Equestrian Trail in Ahwatukee
🎃 Pumpkin Patches 🎃
MacDonald’s Ranch, Scottsdale, AZ
Take a horse or mule drawn hayride over to the pumpkin patch and pick your favorite pumpkin! Come for the pumpkins and stay for the petting zoo, hay maze, pony rides, gem mine, cowboy golf, carnival rides, face painting, and sand creations. Visit their website to learn more.
Mother Nature’s Farm, Gilbert, AZ
Tons of pumpkins to choose from and a cute little “farmhouse” shop with local goodies. You can also enjoy hayrides, an adventure maze, a straw bounce and farmyard animals. Learn more at their website: http://mothernaturesfarm.com
Tolmachoff Farms – Glendale, AZ
There’s a six acre corn maze, a petting zoo, train rides (weekends), corn box, pedal carts and a jumping pillow. Not done yet? Tolmachoff Farms also hosts the AZ Field of Screams and of course, a pumpkin patch!
👻 If Haunted Houses are your thing:
AZ Field of Screams – Glendale, AZ
Haunted House and Hayride – Phoenix, AZ
Jack and Jill’s Haunted Hill – Phoenix, AZ
13th Floor – Phoenix, AZ
Fear Farm – Phoenix, AZ
Sanctum of Horror – Mesa, AZ
The Crypt Haunted Attractions – Mesa, AZ
The House on Camino – Mesa, AZ
Dark Scares – Mesa, AZ
Golfland Fright Nights – Mesa, AZ
Scarizona – Scottsdale, AZ
Did we miss something that you love? Please comment below and share!
This awesome home in The Gardens in Gilbert, AZ is available for sale! Check it out!
Our hearts are FULL!!! These last few months have been some of the best for the MOMs of MOMnationAZ. From charity events to prom, we had a blast. Here are some highlights:
MOMnationAZ Charity Events
We helped raise over $600 for Kitt’s Kitten Rescue in May! A kitten was given a second chance because of our efforts.
In June, we raised $131 for Tempe Young Lives. We were able to sponsor a “club” night for these young MOMs.
We are always proud of the work we do within our community, but our August efforts left us beaming. We were able to donate $400 to a Chandler family that has run into some health surprises that quickly impacted their finances.
Over the summer we had 50+ events but the most memorable events were the 80’s themed MNprom in August, and the Find Your Soul MOM Speed Dating 2.0.
MNprom was just that!… An adult prom with a little twist. Hairspray, 80’s music and pink lipstick were in abundance that night, as was the raffle winnings, cold drinks and yummy appetizers. We rocked the Macarena, the Dougie, the Electric Slide and even crowned prom King and Queen. Good times!!
The original Find Your Soul MOM was such a hit that we decided to do it again. Nearly 50 women met up to “speed date” by asking each other a series of questions (and not your average questions either) to determine their next MOMbff That event started at Boulders on Southern and turned into some late night karaoke at Doc and Eddy’s. Turns out, there’s quite a bit of karaoke talent in this group.
Did you miss out on the fun?
If you’re a MOM you’re most likely also coffee obsessed! Our MOMs are too. Sure, Starbucks is great (drive-through, hello!) but where can a MOM get away in Arizona to enjoy great coffee, and maybe even a… kid’s play area? Here are our absolute MOM and pop fave coffee shops around Arizona.
Best Coffee Shops in Arizona
Peixoto: This shop operates on a supply of Brazilian beans direct from a family-run South American coffee farm. We love supporting that!
Sozo: Sozo is a huge coffee shop in Chandler that has a stage with open mic nights and live music! It’s also kid-friendly with a separate toy room for the littles.
Bergies: Aside from the cool downtown Gilbert location, we adore the little rustic cottage and the cute outdoor patio.
Sweetz Cold Brew: Cold brews and vegan-friendly foods here! We also love the layout and high-top bar with plugs for your laptop/phone.
The Coffee Shop: Located in Agritopia in an old, rustic barn… need we say more?
Cabin Coffee Cafe: We love the vibe here!! Friendly staff, cozy vibes, great coffee + a kids table.
Rayner’s Chocolate and Coffee Shop: It’s chocolate AND coffee 🙂
Jarrod’s Coffee & Tea Gallery: Coffee plus art equals a one of a kind experience in historic downtown Mesa.
Volstead Public House: Vegan and adult beverage options at this old historic coffee shop located along the light rail. We LOVE the exposed brick wall and the old wood floors.
The Velo (Roosevelt Row): It’s cyclist-friendly coffee shop! They even boost Sunday social rides and live music on First Fridays. Swoon!
Where U Bean Coffee (Ahwatukee): Awesome decor and they make an amazing banana pudding!
The Teapot: One of the most family-friendly coffee shops that we’ve ever come across. Inside, there’s a children’s corner with toys and outside, large play structure, bikes, toys, umbrellas for shade. Teapot also has picnic tables and a big community table, making it even more MOM-friendly. We love it!
Maverick Coffee: Located just south of Shea, Maverick coffee has everything you need to get away and maybe even get some work done: big couches, incredible coffee, yummy pastries, and an ambiance that cannot be beat.
Sip Coffee and Beer House: Get your espresso or coffee infused with a little liquor. Sometimes, when you’re a MOM, there are days for this. 🙂
Cartel Coffee Lab: Dedicated to quality and integrity of coffee, this stuff is so good. The beans for every cup of coffee are ground and drip brewed as you order. It’s worth it, but maybe not so kid-friendly.
Gold Bar Espresso: Great coffee and great pastries. Sometimes there’s even live jazz!
Got a MOM and pop coffee shop that you love that wasn’t mentioned? We’d love to know about it. Please leave your recommendation in the comments!
As MOMs in AZ, there’s lots we have to think about and energy efficiency certainly is at the top of the list. It’s not only important for a comfortable home environment for the fam, but it’s also beneficial to the household budget.
There are several ways to keep the house comfier and the wallet happy during the summer months. Here are our great suggestions from our MOMs:
- Get sunscreens, especially on the windows in direct sunlight. Sunscreens come in many different sizes ranging from 60-90% sun coverage. They not only help block the heat but also provide some privacy. Sunscreens can make a really big difference in the overall comfort of your home, and also offer major relief on your energy bill.
- Sunshades are a must and we LOVE the automatic version. There are many options and colors of shades that are programmable. Once the sun hits a certain level, the shades come down. It’s great! Manual versions are also available and are a bit more cost effective while still offering the savings on the monthly energy bill. Check out one of our favorite, and very popular, manual sunshades here.
- Nest Thermometer! This programmable thermostat learns your habits and saves approximately 15% on your cooling bill. The coolest part is that it can be controlled by your smart phone.
- Check out energy rebates and usage programs from SRP, APS and SW gas.
- Check your insulation levels. Having the correct amount of insulation is super important, and at least 90% of AZ households do not have sufficient insulation. Speak to a professional to determine the appropriate amount of insulation and appropriate R-value. Here’s some more info.
- Energy efficient windows are a great investment and will definitely help reduce the energy bill. When selecting new windows, consider their energy performance ratings with respect to climate and home design. You can expect at least a 20% savings on your energy bill if not more.
- Make sure your “extra” fridge in the garage is up for the challenge. Higher temperatures can stress it by forcing the motor to run constantly, especially if your garage exceeds 110 degrees. The energy bill will spike and you run the risk of the machine failing and risking food spoilage.
- Service your AC unit ASAP if it has not been regularly maintained. You’d be surprised how much more efficient a regularly maintained AC unit is and you might even find that it makes sense to upgrade and replace the unit with a higher SEER rating for maximum efficiency. Be sure to change your AC filters regularly; it may seem small but this helps keep the unit running efficiently.
- Speaking of AC units, don’t forget about your ductwork. This is nearly as important as the unit itself. Look for sections that should be joined but have separated, and for obvious holes. Don’t want to do the work yourself? Consult a pro. Ignoring this could mean a 25% to 30% energy loss.
- Seal energy leaks around doors, windows, etc. If you can see the light of day, you are losing energy. Caulk and/or apply weatherstrip to doors and windows. Caulk to seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring comes through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets. You can even install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
- Moving air is cooler that turning on your air conditioning because it creates quick evaporation of moisture from the skin. Ceiling fans are found in almost all homes in the Phoenix, AZ area and help create a more comfortable environment by moving air. Don’t think there’s a fan for you? Ceiling fans come in many styles and colors to fit any design scheme!
- Go solar! Solar power popularity is on the rise and you can now either purchase or lease the systems. There are still several options and incentives available for installing solar panels on top of the already big savings on energy bills.
- Upgrade to energy star appliances, and don’t forget the water heater. These appliances save a ton on energy but they don’t slack on performance. Upgrade your dishwasher, freezer, refrigerator, washer, dryer and water heater.
- Keep the fireplace damper completely closed while not in use! Consider adding glass doors and keep them closed to increase energy efficiency.
- Planting the appropriate trees in strategic places around your home conserves energy and reduces your energy bills. Be sure to consult a professional as planting an inappropriate type of tree or placing it in the wrong area can be damaging to some major systems of your home including the roof, foundation and plumbing.
- Purchase black out shades or blinds and place on all windows affected by the sun.
- Consider purchasing a home with North / South exposure. This is the most optimal orientation in the Phoenix AZ area. Search Phoenix area homes for sale here.
Contact me to discuss your energy efficiency level. I have great referrals for professionals to help with any of these suggestions and love to get to know MOMs!
Face it, it’s time to buy a house. You’ve been thinking about it more and more since your rent went up…AGAIN. All of your friends are taking the plunge and some are even building new homes with the New Build Ninja AKA Jen Duncan! You’ve realized it’s time to get it together and start the process, but where to start? Buying a home can seem daunting, but with a strong real estate team supporting you, and a few tips, you can simplify this exciting process.
So, what is the most important thing you can do to prepare for buying a home in Arizona?
Start saving ASAP!
Toss as much in a savings account as possible. The more money you have to work with, the more options you’ll have during the process which can save you time and money in the long run.
Here’s what you are saving for:
Earnest Deposit: This is the buyers “good faith” money. This deposit is due upon an accepted contract and is held by the title company in an escrow account until closing. The typical earnest deposit amount is 1% of the agreed upon sales price.
General Inspection and Termite Inspection: The inspection period is typically the first 10 days following the accepted contract date in AZ. During this time, the buyer is responsible for performing any and all inspections of the property. It’s common for the buyer to cover this fee as well as a termite inspection fee. Depending on the size of the home and the inspector that is hired, this fee is typically around $400.
Closing Costs: Costs to close for the buyer is typically around 2-3% of the sales price for financed buyers. This estimate does include prorated property tax amounts and an appraisal fee. The appraisal fee will likely be due once the buyer’s lender orders the report. This fee is approximately $500. Costs for cash buyers are a bit less and there are no appraisal fees generally.
Home Warranty Plan: Home warranty plans can help ease the stress of home owning. Depending on the size of the home, home warranty plans are around $500 for a basic plan and around $650 for a basic plan with pool coverage.
Deposit: Depending on the loan program, financed buyers usually have a down payment due at closing. Typical down payment amounts are 3.5%, 5%, 10% and 20%. A quick conversation with Ryan Gilliam with Waterstone Mortgage will help determine the best, most cost-effective loan program and can advise down payment amount.
Repairs: Keep extra money aside for repairs that may be needed prior to moving in. A little extra cash for possible appliance purchases is a good idea too. Both of these items may be negotiation points during the sale, however.
Utility Accounts and Deposits: Some utility companies charge deposits for new utility accounts. Buyers should be prepared for this and call all utility companies during the inspection period to check all fees and schedules.
Some of these costs can be absorbed by the home seller and that can be accomplished by having an experienced and seasoned negotiator on your side. In Arizona, the home seller is responsible for paying the fee to the buyer’s agent. There is no charge to the buyer.
Contact me with any questions about real estate in Arizona! Either call me directly at the number below, or fill out the form and I will be in touch.
Katie Halle Lambert
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