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 for info on new build communities in your area.

Search all greater Phoenix Area resale Homes

We LOVE Farmers Markets! Here are our Faves

The Farmers Market is the perfect place to meet-up with the kiddos, shop the interesting and unique vendors, purchase organic locally grown and locally made foods, admire the art and hear the sounds of some amazing local talent. Here are our favorite Farmers Markets here in the Phoenix area!

#1 FAVE  <3 Chandler Farmers Market  (Thursday) 
3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Fountain Hills Farmers Market  (Thursday
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Downtown Phoenix Open Air Market (Saturday)
8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Gilbert Farmers Market (Saturday)
8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Ray’s Farmers Market¬†(Wednesday)
Power Ranch, Gilbert
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Uptown Farmers Market (Wednesday & Saturday)
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Weds) / 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Sat)

Tempe’s (indoor) Farmers Market¬†(everyday)
8 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market (Saturday)
7 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Goodyear Farmers Market (Saturday)
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Roadrunner Park Phoenix Farmers Market (Saturday)
8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Camelback Farmers Market (Saturday)
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Center Point Farmers Market Р(Sunday)
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Please check the website for each Market for specific schedules and seasonal hours.

VISIT MOMnation and find your LLR “Unicorn” at our MOMnation hosted event¬†at the Chandler Farmers Market next Thursday, February 16th for our GIANT Lularoe fashion show and sale! ¬†¬†The LLR pop-up will feature six different LLR ladies and is on from 3-6pm.¬†Our fashion shows¬†will be happening at 3:30pm and again at 4:30pm! ¬†All ages!

RSVP HERE for the free show!



ÔĽŅFavorite Play Spots! Approved by The Real Toddlers of the East Valley ūüĎ∂ÔĽŅ

Here are our current favorite toddler-friendly things to do, indoors and out, for your little little’s in the East Valley <3

Favorite Mall Indoor Play Zone:  Scottsdale Fashion Square 

Favorite Mall Outdoor Play Zone: SanTan Village in Gilbert

Favorite Coffee Shop with Toddler-Friendly Play Area: SoZo Coffeehouse in Chandler

Favorite Toddler-Friendly Trampoline Park: Krazy Air in Mesa

Favorite Indoor Play Place with Cafe: Makutus Island in Chander

Favorite Toddler-Friendly Museum: i.d.e.a Museum in Mesa

Favorite Toddler-Friendly Park: Dobson Ranch Park in Mesa

Favorite Healthy Kids Menu: Pita Jungle

Favorite Restaurant with Toddler-Friendly Play Area: Joe’s Crab Shack in Tempe

Favorite Outdoor Restaurant with Grass Area: Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert

Favorite Splash Pad: Riverview Park in Mesa

Favorite Sound Beginnings Classes: Let’s Play Music with Nicci Lovell in Mesa

Favorite Gymnastics Program: Aspire Kids Sports Center in Chandler

Our FAVE East Valley Neighborhoods

We’re sure there are other neighborhoods that’ll do but our Mom’s are head over heels for this line-up currently.

The top pick of the East Valley is Adora Trails. ¬†Several of our members have shared that there are many¬†little kids and it’s a very family friendly area. ¬†The pool is nice with a kiddie section and beach entry. ¬†There’s a splash pad and toddler friendly parks. ¬†The community organizes Easter egg hunts, weekly food trucks, movie nights, play dates for the toddlers and morning stroller walks. ¬† There is even Sunday¬†morning football. ¬†The¬†fun walking paths, parks and green grassy areas are gorgeous. Most of the neighbors get in the holiday spirit and there are Halloween and Christmas decoration contests. The community has a gym as well as a beautiful club house and a lake for fishing.

Eastmark was a close second!! ¬†Our Moms LOVE the plans for this awesome “city within a city”. ¬†There is a school being built along with a Diner and the retail area and grocery store is right there too. ¬†Eastmark has a great community feel with a splash pad and lots of parks. ¬†The community building with the indoor play center, study center and work center is unbelievable. ¬†It’s a great place to hang out with the neighbors or get a little work done while the kids play in the game room. ¬†The homes are beautiful and there is a wide selection!

Dobson Ranch was recommended for the awesome parks, walking/bike trails and lakes. The community plans tons of very popular family friendly¬†activities and ¬†amenities for reasonable HOA fees. ¬†Can’t beat the location!! ¬†Dobson Ranch is close¬†to Sky Harbor Airport, the zoo, art venues, restaurants, shopping, freeways, etc.

Several say that Agritopia is just beautiful! ¬†In fact, it might even be the “dream” neighborhood of many! ¬† Most love the look of the homes ¬†with garages in the back, white picket fences and large front porches along with the garden, orchards and close proximity ¬†to Joe’s Farm Grill and The Coffee Shop. ¬†Great for bike rides!

Villages of Eastridge was mentioned a few times and noted for the HOA that puts on fall festivals and its close proximity to the 202.  There are larger homes with multiple garages and a school in this area.

We have a few Moms in¬†Lehi Crossing. ¬†It’s so quiet¬†and the view is incredible. ¬†Plus it’s just on the outskirts of everything so it doesn’t feel crowded and there is little traffic, but you’re still only 10-20 min from anywhere in the East Valley and easily accessible to Tempe, Phoenix or Scottsdale.

Power Ranch made the list for all the parks, pools and large pretty trees.  The neighborhood is HUGE with some gated areas, TONS to do and TWO clubhouses.  You can rent the clubhouse as a resident and throw the most epic birthday party right by the little lake.  There are many different floor plans and homes ranging from starter homes to zero lot line to mid-range.

Many like¬†The Gardens because of the tree-lined streets and style of homes. ¬†It doesn’t feel like Arizona at all. ¬† The location is great and it’s¬†in Gilbert off the 202 and Recker. ¬†There are many young families with a few¬†parks and a pool¬†in the community.

Layton Lakes made the list!! ¬†It¬†is full of young families¬†that can’t say enough how great the neighborhood is. ¬†There are so many beautiful homes in this area that are new and full of style…the grey’s we are gaga for!

Historic Downtown Mesa is Mesa’s best kept secret and we love the artistic feel! ¬†Evergreen Historic District and West 2nd Street Historic District are not only FULL of history and cute and eclectic homes, they are also walking distance to 3 museum’s, a world‚Äďrenowned Art Center (Mesa Arts Center), award-winning restaurants and the light rail. ¬†Americans are starting to make the move to smaller homes and walkable communities…our Moms included! ¬†Visit the Official Mesa Historic District Homes FB page for area info and tons of historic photos! ¬†This is where the famous and ever popular MOMnation Market¬†takes place each month. ¬†Our historic Moms always walk to the market!

Ironwood Crossing made the cut because our Moms love the¬†amenities!!! ¬†The pool and splash pad are incredible and there’s nothing like it in the STV/QC area. Our Moms feel that Ironwood Crossing is by far the cleanest and nicest neighborhood around and its location is super convenient!

Indigo Trails was also mentioned.  There are tons of kids and friendly neighbors.  The pool, two parks and splash pad are super close and we love the tree lined streets.  Also very close to shopping and restaurants.

Val Vista Lakes is a fave because of the amazing location and beauty of the lakes. ¬†There are all ranges of homes found in this community from starter homes to move up to gated, luxury lake front. ¬†It’s picture perfect and very established.

Morrison Ranch is SO worth mentioning per our Moms! ¬†It’s HUGE! ¬†There are many phases. ¬†Our Moms love the styles of the houses (there are so many to choose from), all the greenery and the amenities. ¬†The location is perfect as it’s close to the freeway and our local hangout, Downtown Gilbert.

The Bridges in Gilbert is popular community too with fresh new homes and lots of pretty common areas. ¬†It’s such a treat to drive through! ¬†Plus, it’s super close to everything that Power Ranch is close to which is excellent.

There are other neighborhoods besides these in the East Valley area of Phoenix that are beautiful and family friendly.  Need info on them all including all the new build communities?  Team Evolution Real Estate has it.  Call/text 480.250.0023 or visit

Photo Credit to Photos by Jessica Nelson and Nicci Lovell!

Our Fave Local Date Night Spots!

Need a plan for Valentine’s Day or random date night?  Quick!  Call the babysitter!  We got you covered.  Here are suggestions from our local Moms <3

Hot Air Balloon Rides – Pack a picnic basket with some wine and cheese and get your fill of Phoenix from a birds eye view.  Check out Adrenaline and Rainbow Riders.

Gondola Boat Rides at the Hyatt – Just like Venice.  Enough Said.

Escape Rooms – You’ll work as a team to solve puzzles and find clues to escape a room together.  How romantic!!  Check out Phoenix Escape Room – Gilbert and Escape Room Mesa.

Saguaro Lake – Pack a picnic basket with your favorite fixin’s and take the very scenic drive to Saguaro Lake Marina.  There are plenty of spots there and on the way to throw down a blanket with your sweetie and relax in awe of the incredible view…the lake is nice too ūüėČ  There is also a restaurant right on the water!

Top Golf – We love golf and good food!  They have a Gilbert and a Scottsdale location.

Filmbar in Downtown Phoenix – A hip little wine bar with craft beer at a true indie film theatre.  Voted “super cool” by our moms!

iPic Theatre – When a new flick is your pick but you still want the full bar and menu, we highly recommend iPic.  ***Warning*** Moms have been known to fall asleep in those comfy seats!

The Sanctuary Camelback Resort – If you haven’t done it yet, a spa weekend staycation should be on every couples bucket list!

Tempe Improv – Who doesn’t like a great comedy act plus food!  Winning!

Desert Botanical Garden – Take a stroll through the gardens.  Hold hands.  Sneak kisses.  It’s fun <3

480 Bar in Chandler – Rack ’em up!  Shoot some pool with your sweetie at our favorite local bar.  There’s even karaoke!

From AZ to Disneyland ūüŹį Vacation tips for Moms, by Moms!

Disneyland is so close¬†for us Arizonans! ¬† Many of our Mama’s make it an annual (and sometimes more frequent) road trip. ¬†Here are some tips and tricks from our Disneyland visiting veteran Mama’s!

Where to get tickets: ¬†Our Moms have been lucky with good ticket prices at¬†AAA, Costco,¬†Park Savers¬†and grocery store tickets.¬† Since the parks are pretty close together, Moms of older kids recommend getting the park hopper pass which allows you to “hop” between parks throughout the day. ¬†It tends to be a little much for the little ones so, if you are with children 6 and under, you may be better off sticking to one park for the day.

What to bring with you:¬† Get your pins¬†and lanyards¬†ahead of time to save yourself some time and money. ¬†You’ll need them once you arrive at the park. Make sure you get the official pins as those are the only ones that the cast members will trade.

Get your autograph books and costumes ahead of time as well. ¬†You’ll be glad you did when your little one is joining in on all the fun without you having to brave the lines and squeeze the wallet for these items. ¬†Age 14 and under are permitted to wear costumes to the park!

Head to Walmart, at¬†440 N Euclid St, Anaheim, CA 92801, for the rest of your Disneyland gear for a fraction of the cost and the wait at the park. ¬†You’ll find hats, t-shirts, headbands, water bottles and a small cooler that you can throw in a locker at the park. ¬†It can be expensive to eat all meals at the park so we recommend at least bringing a lunch.

Grab sunscreen, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer. ¬†We HIGHLY recommend grabbing a disposable poncho, for rain and for the water rides, a water proof pouch for your phone and a light toy…one of those toys that light up at night. You’ll see those start to come out at night and there’s nothing worse than getting close to bedtime at the end of a long day and enduring ¬†your toddler’s sudden temper tantrum as he vehemently demands that he have one immediately.

Where to stay within walking distance to the park:  The Grand Californian, Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier,  Best Western Anaheim, Howard Johnson Anaheim, Castle Inn and Suites, Candy Cane Inn, Anaheim Desert Inn and Suites and  Grand Legacy at the Park.

Enjoy! ‚̧