Pools and Splash Pads! An AZ Summertime MUST 🏊🏻

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

Ready or Not!! Life after Maternity Leave

Almost as soon as my baby was born back in January, I knew the clock had started ticking on my (unpaid) maternity leave. Of course, it’s so distant in the moments of newborn bliss. I have 12 weeks to spend with my baby! I have 12 weeks to figure out how this family of four, with two babies under two years old, will function. I have 12 weeks to finally get around to these projects I’ve been meaning to tackle (Are you laughing at this last statement?? Because I am!!)!!

 

And then…

 

I was supposed to return to work last Monday. Even though I work from home and have invaluable flexibility that most working moms don’t, I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t ready. My baby had become colicky over the last couple of months and I couldn’t get to the bottom of it to find relief for her (and for us). Between my colicky baby and my toddler adjusting to her new room and bed (boy did we screw that one up!!), I wasn’t getting more than 3-4 hours of sleep at a time. I was officially running on fumes, barely able to function. I thought, there’s no way I could handle my job right now when I can hardly formulate a full sentence. It was difficult to do, but I called my boss, maaaaybe stretched the truth a teensy tiny bit and extended my leave another week. I could hear the annoyance in the voices of the co-workers I spoke to, who were covering for me and looking to dump things back on my plate. Sorry… not sorry.

 

And then…

 

When I realized this rare opportunity to take time for myself, which I will most likely not have again for a long time, things began to turn around. I could think a little clearer without the pressure. At my wits end with the colic, we shifted focus and realized that acid reflux could be the cause behind the crying. So the baby started Zantac, and although she’s still colicky it’s not nearly as bad! She has been sleeping more. I have been sleeping more. I treated myself to a manicure and pedicure, I’ve gone shopping by myself, simple acts to make me feel like a human woman again instead of a hot mess “Mombie.” I started to feel a little more ready to claim my professional life back.

 

And so here we are, my first day back to work. As much as I yearned for a break during my baby’s colic episodes, I cried my eyes out when my husband left this morning to bring them to daycare. Today will be the longest day in my new baby’s life, the longest time away from me. And while I know it’s for the best, eventually, it doesn’t make it any easier in the moment.

 

I prepared myself as much as possible last night – shower, outfits for me and the girls laid out, alarm set and morning prep mentally scheduled, coffee pot set for 6:45am – and it made all the difference. My baby even gave me the gift of sleeping through the night before my first day back to work!

 

“Mommy Feelings,” as I call them, can be conflicting and scary and all-consuming. My tears had to be put away quickly this morning because I had to be “on” for my first conference call at 7am. And that is a good thing, because it’s easy to slide down the rabbit hole of guilt. I’ve been slowly moving through my day, making a conscious effort to read each email and determine an action. I’ve been able to take a break to throw in a load of laundry. I pump at my desk so I can still get things done. And even though my mind is mostly on my babies and wondering if I’m ever doing the right thing, I am slowly settling into this new phase of my life. Because ultimately, we’re never “ready” for what needs to be done. We can only prepare so much. But the beautifully anguished act of letting go, and diving in, is what transforms us and builds our person. And that, I am ready for!

MOMlife by Courtney Spiak

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

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 – Must 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 🚑

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? 🏠

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.

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)
Phoenix
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)
Phoenix
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Center Point Farmers Market – (Sunday)
Tempe
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!

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Favorite Play Spots! Approved by The Real Toddlers of the East Valley 👶

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–renowned 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 Movies on Main takes place each month.  Our historic Moms always walk to the show!

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 EvoAZ.com.

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 😉  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!