Pools and Splash Pads! An AZ Summertime MUST ūüŹäūüŹĽ

The triple digits have hit.  Our MOMs are meeting up and cooling down in these area “hot” spots:

CHANDLER

Desert Oasis – We love it for the rain drop and spray whale plus the zero depth entry pool with kiddie slide.  There’s also a splash pad!

Mesquite Groves – We love it for the family area/pool with zero depth entry and the lazy river!

GILBERT

Santan Village Mall – The splash pad is very toddler friendly with a soft surface and nearby family restrooms.  We LOVE that!

GLENDALE

Rose Lane Park – We love the zero depth entry pool and awesome splash pad.

MESA

Eastmark Great Park – We love it for the covered splash pad and shaded picnic ramadas.

Golfland Sunsplash – We love it for entertaining the older kids and, of course, the water cannons!

Mesa Aquatic Complex – This facility just opened days ago and the pool and long and lazy river is why we love it!

Riverview Park – The playground is extraordinary and the splash pad is HUGE!  We love that!

PHOENIX

City Scape – We love the splash pad and its ultra urban feel.  Even better that it’s accessible by light rail.

Desert Ridge Marketplace – We love the splash pad location right by AMC movie theatre!

Mountain Vista Park – The Ahwatukee location and the splash pad put this park at the top of our list!

SCOTTSDALE

Scottsdale Quarter – We love that the splash pad is surrounded by awesome shops and great restaurants!

TEMPE

Beach Park at Tempe Town Lake – This splash pad playground is one of the largest in the Valley.  We love all the “water” play equipment!

Kiwanis Recreation Center – We love it for the wave pool!

 

Brought to you by Team Evolution Real Estate and Stafford Cleaning Services

The Postpartum Style Struggle #2

Hey there Mamas!

Okay, so now you’re holding your sweet little bundle of joy, the birth is over, you’re sitting there in your hospital bed, probably still in your gown and now sporting hospital panties and a pad the size of a crib mattress. You’ve never felt more glamorous! Am I right? ūüėČ Well, now may not be the time for glamour, but it can be the time for comfort and confidence!¬†

Let’s get practical (and cute!)¬†

If you’re anything like me, those hospital panties don’t even come close to staying up on their own. Like not even close. So definitely let’s do the pants thing. Stay away from dresses for now, you’ll want everything down there to feel secure and in place. Pants can help. My recommendation for your first “mama outfit” would be leggings and a tunic. Get some soft, stretchy leggings preferably black, (just in case your pad betrays you) and wiggle your jiggle into those. They pull everything together and just hold it there. Now, you look like a toddler in a diaper under your clothes, so make sure the tunic you choose, covers your behind all the way. That way, there’s no lumpy bumps hanging out in the back.¬†

Oversized tunics are pretty forgiving and hide a lot, so if you’re feeling super self-conscious about your postpartum pancake belly, join the club and throw on something that’s fitted in the bust and flows over the stomach. You can even find tunics that have been engineered to come apart around the boobs for easy access if you’re breastfeeding! Nifty!¬†

Here’s the nitty-gritty about why this look works:

When you look at the model above, where do your eyes go first? Her boobs? Probably. Let’s face it mamas, if we’re going to try to flaunt our assets (one of which is covered in an adult diaper at the moment), we may as well go for boobs. That’s why we want the tunic to be a bit fitted at the bust. Dressing yourself strategically is all about drawing the eye away from where you don’t want it to go. Don’t want people staring at your belly? Get a tunic fitted in the bust, throw on some cute chunky earrings and if you’re heading out for grocery run, or just out to Target to try to stay sane, some cute flashy flats will also help keep the attention in a long line from head to toe. A tunic with a large print will also minimize your belly. The general rule is: large print= area appears smaller, small print= area appears larger.¬†

Bottom line here, mama friends, don’t stress about it! This outfit is all about no stress and comfort, which is where you want to be right now. Now go snuggle that sweet squishy little newborn and smell his head for the rest of us. My kids’ heads just smell like dirt and maple syrup now.¬†

Hugs Mama Friends,

Ashley 

Stylist/Owner 

Metro Image Consulting L.L.C.

www.metroimageconsulting.com

Want me to come help you “Shop Your Closet” and learn to style yourself? Contact me on my website or text: STYLE to 480-296-4851. Be sure to mention MOMnation for a special discount!¬†

Special thanks to Sarayah Blackburn with Blackburn Photography

How our MOMs Survive on the Surface of the Sun ūüĆě

It’s getting hot in the Valley of the Sun!! ¬†Our MOMs have great tips, tricks and advice for surviving these next 5 months of heat with kiddos!

At Home:

Most of our Mama’s keep the AC set to 78. ¬†Infants are usually comfortable in thin material pajamas with long pants and sleeves especially those that are too young for bedding.

Drink water! ¬†Keep sipping water all day even if you don’t feel thirsty. ¬†It’s very easy for anyone to get dehydrated during the summer months in the Phoenix area.

Beware of the water that comes out of the faucet. ¬†Both sides will be hot and could be too hot for little hands. ¬†The same goes for the water in the garden hose. ¬†DO NOT let your child use the garden hose without running the water until it’s cool first. ¬†The water that comes out initially will be scalding.

Little feet should have shoes or sandals on at all times. ¬†Even the “kool” decking around the pool is scorching hot in the midday sun. ¬†Wear shoes while walking outside at night as well, even in the back yard. ¬†Scorpions can be found in many areas at night.

Stay away from the bees.  Summertime is bee season in Phoenix and bees could be harmful to people and animals.

For the house, sunscreens for windows and covered patios make a difference in energy efficiency and comfort.

 

In the Car:

Get a car seat cooler. ¬†Popular styles have pockets in the material for four or five ice packs that you place in the seat when it’s not in use. ¬†This usually keeps the car seat cool even if you are parked for several hours.

Use a sun screen in the front window. ¬†It will help keep the car a bit cooler as well as the steering wheel. ¬†If the sun isn’t beating down inside the car, usually the seatbelt buckles aren’t quite so hot. ¬†Do be sure to cover those buckles or keep them in the shade somehow. ¬†They can be branding irons for little kiddos if touched after sitting in the sun.

Get an extension hose/tube for the front AC vent so that the AC can be directed easily and more effectively from the front to the back of the car. ¬†If your car doesn’t have designated AC vents in the back, it could get very hot for your small child / baby.

Always have lots of water!  The new aluminum or stainless steel water bottles keep the water cool even when left in hot cars for hours.

Keep a light jacket or sweater in the car for both Mom and baby.  It can be very cold in stores, restaurants and grocery stores during the summer months.  This can also be used to cover up leather seats when parking in sunny areas.  Leather seats can be very uncomfortable in the heat especially with shorts on!

Never, never ever leave a baby, child or animal in a hot car even for a minute.  The temperatures are extreme and can be very dangerous.

 

Is your AZ home as efficient as it can be? ¬†CONTACT US¬†and ask for a free copy of the “Efficiency Cheat Sheet” for tips on energy efficiency¬†and tricks to maximize the comfort of your home and minimize your energy bill.

Home Maintenance Musts for AZ MOMs! ūüŹ°

It’s so important for our AZ MOMs to keep an eye on these maintenance items regularly. Even renters should be aware!

Have the pest control company that regularly treats your home keep an eye out for signs of termites.  If you see a skinny tube hanging from the ceiling, that could be a termite tube.  They do tend to appear frequently on the stem wall and walls of the garage.

Change your AC filters per the manufacturers suggestions and get the AC unit serviced every spring and the heater serviced every fall.  Watch for signs of draining from the overflow drain pipe, that could mean there is a clog and a large leak could develop.

Keep an eye on the grading around the perimeter of the home.  Ask a landscaper to properly grade the ground around the home periodically.  This ensures the water runs away from the house vs pooling at the foundation.

Cut back trees from overhanging the house.  The debris from the trees could cause water pooling on the roof which could cause leaks and other damage to the roof.  Keep the roof and gutters clean of all landscaping debris.

If there’s a bathroom or other plumbing fixture (like a bar sink) that isn’t used often, run the water for a few seconds every week or so to keep water in the trap and to keep sewer gases and insects from coming into the house through dried up traps/pipes.

Check insulation levels in the attic and add or level as needed.  Check every few years and especially after having work done in the attic.  Be sure that insulation is replaced if disturbed.  This will help with energy efficiency.

Have roof checked every 3 years or so and especially if there appears to be an issue or a leak develops.

Sweep any active chimneys to minimize debris that could potentially cause a fire.  This should be done yearly.

Clean the lint trap on the clothes dryer between each use and clean (vacuum) the dryer vent / hose at least yearly.

Be sure to have anti-siphon devices on exterior hose bibs to keep the water from being disbursed back into the home water system after use.

Some homes do not have the anti-tip device installed at the kitchen stove and that could be very dangerous for a small child.  If you are unsure if yours is installed, pull your stove straight out and look in one of the corners closest to the wall.  The device will be installed at the base of the wall and secured to the floor.  One leg of your stove should slide into it and it will prevent the stove from tipping forward if there is weight put on the open door (like a child standing on the open door).

Check your windows periodically, if there is fog or “sweat” between the panes, there may be a broken seal and the energy efficiency of the window may be compromised.

Have your garage door and opener checked often. ¬†Garage doors and openers¬†can be very dangerous if they aren’t adjusted properly and if the reverse mechanism does not operate.

The access door between the house and the garage should be a fire rated self-closing door. ¬†If it does not close on its own, it’s very important to have it adjusted so it operates appropriately.

Brought to you by Team Evolution Real Estate

Special Delivery!!! What to Bring when it’s BABY TIME!

AGH! ¬†It seems like it took forever yet no time at all and now it’s show time, baby!

Here’s what our local AZ MOMs suggest packing in your overnight bag for the hospital…and psst…pack it early!!


For Baby:

Car seat
Baby Wrap or Carrier 
Wipe Warmer and Wipes
Diapers / Cloth Diapers
Boppy

Clothes / Onesies
Swaddle Blanket

For Mom:

Comfy Clothes 
Snacks / Bottled Water
Coins for Vending Machine
Toiletries – Don’t forget a Brush and Mascara
Comfy, Lightweight Robe
Socks and Slippers
Headphones
Ponytail Holder
Deodorant
Comfy Granny Panties
Long, Thin Overnight Pads
Essential oils 
Nursing Bra
Nipple Cream

Postpartum Padsicles
iPad / Magazines / Games
Sleeping Mask and Ear Plugs
Pillow and Blanket
Chapstick
Baby Book

Dads need a bag too!! ¬†You’ll be tired. ¬†You’ll appreciate being as prepared as possible and that will hopefully eliminate tasks so Dad doesn’t have to leave the hospital and you can maximize the time you have together as a new family with the nurses around for help.

Here’s what Dad will need:

Snacks
Sleeping Mask and Ear Plugs
Headphones
Phone Charger
Change of Clothes
Deodorant

Congrats Mama!!

Lakes, Parks and Picnics! Our Local AZ MOMs Love these Special Spots ūüé£

Spring has sprung and the weather here in the Phoenix area is GORGEOUS! ¬†Time to enjoy it while we have it, right? ¬†Our local MOMs love these locations …perrrrfect for picnics and close to home. You’ll be lakeside in minutes!

WE LOVE Veterans Oasis Park! ¬†There is a huge community fishing lake, a tortoise viewing area, waterfalls, a butterfly and hummingbird habitat, a play area and miles of trails to explore. ¬†You won’t believe this is in Chandler!

Desert Breeze Lake in Chandler offers a play area, walking trails, a splash pad, carousel/train rides, covered picnic areas and a Hummingbird Habitat.

Dobson Ranch Park in West Mesa is all new and some sections are toddler friendly.  There is a lake, shaded picnic areas, a play area and basketball courts.

Located near the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden, Papago Park¬†¬†offers a variety of family fun. Enjoy extensive trails through the sandstone buttes, the archery range, 1.7 mile exercise course and almost 8 acres of fishing lagoons. ¬†It’s also only 10 minutes from downtown Phoenix!

Red Mountain Park in Northeast Mesa is a popular favorite!  The drive in has gorgeous mountain views and the HUGE park (over 1,000 acres) offers sport courts, covered play areas, covered picnic areas, walking trails and a fishing lake.

Discovery Park in Gilbert offers two fishing lakes, sport courts, swings and a climbing rock play area, covered picnic areas, a butterfly garden and a “learning” path. ¬†They even have equestrian trails!

Riverview Park in Northwest Mesa offers a fishing lake, a splash pad and a HUGE playground with a 50 foot tall Genesis climbing tower and a 60 foot long caterpillar mesh rope climbing structure.  There are shaded picnic areas and shaded playground clusters for the little kiddos too starting at age two!

Encanto Park in downtown Phoenix is nestled right up against the golf course and offers a fishing lake, a playground, sport courts, a swimming pool, paddle boat rentals and Enchanted Island Amusement Park!

Surprise Lake in Surprise offers fishing, a playground, sports fields, a dog park and a swimming pool.

*Most locations prohibit feeding the wildlife for their safety and yours.  Please make sure you check the rules of each location before approaching or feeding the wildlife*

Our List of Local Farms that offer lots of Family Fun ūüźĄ

We just recently experienced Schnepf Farms for an awesome birthday party and it was great inspiration to check out a few others.  Here are our kid friendly local favorites!

From weddings to birthday parties to on the spur of the moment family adventures, Schnepf Farms is a great destination for all ages.

The Farm at Agritopia offers free tours of the Farm on the 3rd Wednesdays of each month at 10:00 am rain or shine. ¬†Have lunch at Joe’s Farm Grill or a coffee at the Coffee Shop too!

Peaches N’ Play 2017 sounds like a really good time! ¬†It’s one of many events happening at¬†Vertuccio Farms.

Petting zoo, parties, weddings and farmers markets, Superstition Farms  offers farms tours as well as eggs and dairy products for sale.

Cooking classes, yoga, a cafe and more at the Farm at South Mountain.

Tours are also offered at Crooked Sky Farms! ¬†2-year-old’s and under are free.

Tolmachoff Farms is seasonal and open from¬†November 15 – December, February – May. ¬†Tours include “you pick” areas, train rides, farm animals, pumpkin patch and corn maze.

Caywood Cotton Farms offers tours! Reservations required!

The Queen Creek Olive Mill offers tours and olive oil tastings.  The restaurant on-site is a MUST!  Make sure you save room for lunch!

Feed the critters at the Rooster Coburn Ostrich Ranch!  Be sure to catch the Monster Truck tours that take you through the Ranch.

Brought to you by TeAM evolution real Estate

Our Top Egg Hunt and Easter Festivities for 2017!

Local Easter Egg Hunts:

4/13: MOMnation members only Easter Egg Hunt and Park Play Date hosted by Ashley in South Gilbert!

4/13: Tiny Tots Egg Hunt in Downtown Mesa!  The event takes place on Main Street from Center to Country Club.

4/15: City of Chandler Family Easter Celebration at Snedigar Sportsplex! 

4/15: FREE Easter Spring event at Little Einstein Preschool! Bounce house, cookie decorations, crafts, games and an Easter egg hunts for all ages!!

4/15: Easter Egg-sperience at Vertuccio Farms!  You will enjoy pictures with the Easter Bunny, animals to pet, face painters, a train ride, an egg hunt with over 12,000 eggs and a pancake breakfast!

4/15: Enchanted Island Amusement Park in Phoenix is hosting a FREE Easter Egg hunt ages 1 to 10!

4/15: Easter Egg-Citement at Schnepf Farms!  The Egg hunt begins promptly at 11am.

4/15: Easter EGG-stravaganza @ The Wigwam in Litchfield Park! 

4/15: Dolly Sanchez Memorial Easter Egg Hunt at the Peoria Sports Complex. 

Visit the Great Lawn at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess for special hourly Easter egg hunts and “Bunnyland”! ¬†The entire family will have a day filled with games, rides and live entertainment.

 

Awesome Local Easter Brunch Locations:

Grand Easter Brunch in the Palomino Ballroom at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Original Breakfast House in Phoenix – The Easter menu is served from 6:30am to 2pm

The Farm at South Mountain РMust make reservations 

SanTan Brewing Co. in Chandler is hosting a Sunday Brunch Buffet in their private Brewers Reserve 

Rustlers Rooste in Phoenix – Must make reservations

Easter Brunch at the Wigwam in Litchfield Park

 



			
		

What’s up, Doc? Our 2017 #MOMlist of preferred Pediatricians ūüöĎ

We have a few favorites when it comes to Doc’s for our kids!  Comment below if you have any to add to the list of recommendations.

Mesa Pediatrics is our Gilbert, AZ FAVE!  Our Moms had this to share:

We love Mesa Pediatrics on Greenfield and Guadalupe in Gilbert.  We see Dr. Laks.

Love Mesa pediatrics on Greenfield and Guadalupe.  They are awesome.  After my sons 2 month shots he was screaming and we sat in the room for a good 30 mins while he calmed down.  They had no issue and didn’t rush me out.  They are great.  Dr. Wallace is my sons primary doctor but we have seen Dr. Laks a few times and she’s great as well.

Dr. Robin Laks at Mesa Peds!

We live at Sossaman and Guadalupe and we go to Mesa Peds at Guadalupe and Greenfield.  I’ve loved all the PA’s there.  They are usually on time and they take their time with us.  I also love Dr. Kent but she is only there on Wednesdays.

We love Mesa Pediatrics in Gilbert. We see Dr Laks. My Ped at Mesa Pediatrics is great! She referred me to an LC when I mentioned to her I was struggling with nursing and needed help.  She is totally cool if I need to nurse or stay longer in an exam room to nurse.

I always get our vaccines in smaller quantities and spaced out and we’ve been going to Mesa Peds for 7 years!

Gilbert Pediatrics is our Mesa, AZ FAVE!  The votes for this particular office were off the charts.  Here are some reasons why:

We love all of the Docs at Gilbert Pediatrics on Greenfield & Baseline.  They even have an after hours clinic from 6-10pm Monday – Saturday.

Sam is my fave or Dr. Leavitt!

Gilbert Pediatrics!  Dr. Guthrie or his nurse practitioner, Melanie, are my favorite!

I love Gilbert Pediatrics.  We usually see Dr. Guthrie.

We go to Gilbert Peds and see the PA, Sam.

Gilbert Pediatrics has been very breastfeeding friendly to me!  I’ve nursed 6 babies past 13 months (one all the way to 22 months).  They give me extra time in an exam room if needed.

Arizona Pediatrics is our Phoenix, AZ choice! 

We go to Arizona Pediatrics in Phoenix.

We love Arizona Pediatrics.  The Doc is great!

JJ Pediatrics is our go-to in Queen Creek, AZ

We go to JJ pediatrics in Queen creek!

JJ Pediatrics of Queen Creek!  The location is convenient and there is a CVS right there which makes filling a prescription a little easier.

East Valley Children’s Center won our vote in Tempe, AZ! 

We go to East Valley Children’s Center.  We see Dr. Curran but all the doctors are great.

We also go to East Valley Children’s Center and think Dr. Curran is great.  We prefer to only see him.

East Valley Children’s Center, Dr. Curran, won “Top Doc” for 2016.

To Build or Not to Build? ūüŹ†

That is the question on the minds of many of our Mama’s these days!

Here’s our 2 cents…

The benefits of purchasing a resale home in AZ:

  1. The neighborhood is established and complete with mature landscaping.
  2. Location, location, location… resale homes tend to be closer to¬†City center.
  3. Most likely, if there is a backyard, the landscaping is complete.
  4. Resales are typically less expensive.
  5. Most new builds are in an HOA but many resale homes in this area are not.  Unless you build custom (and, in some cases, even customs can be in an HOA community) you will likely be in an HOA community.  An HOA is a neighborhood governing body that establishes and enforces specific community rules.
  6. Approximately 30 days until move in.
  7. You can get a “fixer upper” or a distressed / under market sale.

 

The benefits to purchasing a new build home in AZ:

  1. The choice of lot, elevation, floor plan, upgrades and extras.
  2. The latest technology and energy efficiency.
  3. The opportunity to design your backyard landscaping.
  4. Warranty’s on all the big stuff like A/C units, roof, kitchen appliances, etc.
  5. HOA communities insist that a certain level of property maintenance is consistent throughout the community which is desirable.
  6. Most new build communities have quick move in homes or “specs” available…just ask your real estate agent for a list!
  7. In some cases you can negotiate the price or incentives offered on a new build home. ¬†In most cases, if you use the builder’s preferred lender, there are additional incentives offered.

Follow Jen Duncan as she takes us through every step of her CURRENT new build home purchase. ¬†They have just begun the journey and so far it’s been a wild ride! ¬†Here’s her blog¬†#NewBuildNinja

Contact Jennifer@EvoAZ.com for info on new build communities in your area.

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