Disney Cruise checklist & tips 🧚🏻‍♀️

LAMFAM TIPS for Cruising with Disney! 

This is a little snap shot of our recent, epic cruise on the Disney Wonder ship:

Here’s our 30 min podcast offering tips, tricks and details of our experience:

Checklist:

-Mickey ears

-Lanyard & Disney pins (get them on Amazon!)

-Disney apparel

-Pirate outfit for pirate night

-Magnets for cabin door (name of family and other fun stuff)

-Waterproof camera

-Ear plugs (the ship can be noisy especially if there is a storm)

-Portable batteries

-Plastic bags for soiled clothes and such

-Cash for shopping at ports of call and tips

-Large water bottles to refill and carry

-Pack layers as temps can change quickly

-Windbreakers

-Ponchos (disposable)

-Vitamins and electrolytes

-Small bag/ backpack for going into ports

-Sunblock

-Nausea bracelets for kids under 12 (the ship offers free nausea pills for adults)

 

Tips:

-Download the kids’ favorite shows & music.  It will come in handy in stressful moments with no service and in the long boarding and deboarding process.  Bring games and snacks too!

-Pack as light as possible.  You are stuck with your luggage for a little while.  You’ll appreciate this.

-Confirm your dining schedule before you arrive.

-Clean the house and be as organized as possible prior to leaving for a stress free return home.  It’s very hard to return to reality after the Disney Cruise!

-Don’t mention nausea or discuss in front of kids if they are not showing signs or concerns of being sick (suggestion is powerful and contagious).  We were on the boat for 5 days and it didn’t bother our 5 year-old a bit!

-Keep a full stomach on ship to avoid nausea.  Empty stomach are leading cause to sea sickness.

-Try to organize, pack and prep night before departure morning.  The ship is chaotic when it’s time to deboard.

-Try to catch the sunrise from the deck.  They are amazing and there is usually no one around early in the morning.

-If you plan an adult dinner try to do it towards middle of trip.  We did it on our last night and felt more like we wanted to share the last night with our son so we didn’t spend as much time at dinner as we might have had it been earlier in the week.

-Wi-fi packages are pricey.  Free Wi-fi is nonexistent on the boat.

-There is lots of storage in the stateroom under the bed, in the closet and there are several drawers available.

-Check weather of all destinations and ports of call 1 day before departure and be sure to pack accordingly.

-Update your phone before you leave home and download the Disney Navigator app.

Enjoy your trip!!  It truly was the best vacation that we have been on as a family to date.  It was so great that we scheduled another cruise next year!

Love,

The #LamFam

 

This article is sponsored by Team EvoAZ at eXp Realty Find us on Facebook! 

Inventory levels in the Phoenix, AZ area are super low! Homes are flying off the shelves.  Know about them the minute they hit the market by clicking here! 

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10 Fun Kid Friendly Summer Break Ideas for Arizona!

10 Fun Summer Break Ideas in Arizona!
by: Jen Duncan

Splash Pads
Mansel Carter Oasis Park is a huge favorite with the kids. They have a neat pirate ship with a slide that the kids can go on over and over again. There are also some great big buckets that splash down to keep the kids cool and wet. For the nicer weather, there is a playground up on the hill with a super tall slide and lots of cool little equipment to play on. Dad can also go fishing at the lake if he gets bored!
https://www.queencreek.org/departments/parks-recreation/parks-and-recreation-master-plan-update/mansel-carter-oasis-park

Eastmark has a great Splash pad that is toddler friendly because it is fenced in. The Handlebar diner next door is great to grab a quick bite to eat or Milkshake to take to the Splash Pad.
https://www.eastmark.com/whats-here/eastmark-great-park/ http://handlebardiner.com

One of our previous MOMnationAZ blog posts has a full list of Splash Pads and links to information!

https://momnationaz.com/2017/05/pools-and-splash-pads-an-az-summertime-must-🏊🏻/


POGO Pass!
Use the code MOMNATION to get your POGO pass for ONLY $39.98! https://www.pogopass.com/phoenix

Uptown Jungle Fun Park – POGO Pass Eligible

Uptown Jungle has multiple locations across the valley with a new one just opened in Chandler. They have a great toddler area for kids under 5 and then the main play area is great for 5 and up. There are so many cool things to do and as a bonus, there is a parent lounge! It’s a great place to go to let your kids run and play to tire themselves out while you relax or get some work done.
https://uptownjungle.com/#locations

i.d.e.a. Museum – POGO Pass Eligible

The i.d.e.a. Museum is a great place to spend a few hours. They change out the exhibits every few months so there is always something new. They have activities for all ages. The toddler play area was a huge hit when my daughter was 3-4 years old! Prices are very affordable, but you can also use your POGO Pass at the museum. POGO Pass and it includes 2 visits to the i.d.e.a. Museum.
https://www.ideamuseum.org

A few other attractions you can visit with your POGO pass include Uptown Jungle, Fat Cats, The Phoenix Zoo, KTR, Golfland SunSplash and so much more!


The Crayola Experience
The Crayola Experience is brand new and located in the Chandler Mall. You can create a new crayon, do some sweet drip art, stomp and play on the interactive floor, or just sit and color. This is sure to be a huge hit with the kids to beat the heat.
https://www.crayolaexperience.com/chandler/things-to-do/attractions


Movies!
Harkins Theatres does a great 10 week series where you get 10 movies for $7. This is great for the kids to get out and watch a movie for a great price. You can attend weekly or attend whichever weeks you’d like. You buy tickets and choose a day that you would attend. You must buy the tickets at the location you plan to go to.
https://www.harkins.com/movies/summer-movie-fun


Hurricane Harbor
Six Flags just re-opened Wet N’ Wild as a Hurricane Harbor in Glendale. Growing up near Six Flags Great Adventure/Hurricane Harbor in Jackson, NJ was SO much fun! Enjoy great Water Slides and the wave pool!
https://www.wetnwildphoenix.com


Children’s Museum of Phoenix
The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is a HUGE hit amongst kids. There are many exhibits like an Art Studio, Blockmania, a Noodle Forest, and so much more!
https://childrensmuseumofphoenix.org


Open Gym
One of my daughters FAVORITE things to do when it’s hot is visit an open gym location. We go to USA Youth Fitness Center. It’s a perfect 90 minutes to let the kids get out all the wiggles and they can enjoy the trampolines, balance beams, foam pits and more!
https://usagymaz.com/events-parties/open-gym/
http://www.goldmedalgym.com/join-the-fun
http://www.northvalleygymnastics.com/project/open-gym/
http://www.impactgymaz.com/open-gym


Play Places
Chik-Fil-A and McDonalds have great play places where you can grab some lunch and let the kids burn off some energy! Be sure to check their websites to see if they have a play place and if it’s geared toward toddlers or school age kids. If it doesn’t say, give them a quick call before you pack up the kids and make the trip.
www.McDonalds.com
https://www.chick-fil-a.com


Staycation!
If you’re like me, you don’t like packing, flying, or traveling far. Resorts like the Arizona Grand Resort are great for family staycations. What’s better than staying at a local beautiful hotel where you have your own car, and know where all the restaurants are. The Oasis Water park is a HUGE hit with families looking for a great time locally.
https://www.arizonagrandresort.com
https://www.arizonagrandresort.com/#oasis-water-park

 

Ready to move?  Here’s a list of all the foreclosures, price reductions and under market value homes in the greater Phoenix area.

 

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Family Friendly Camping in Northern AZ

The idea of camping is vastly different to each of us.  If you have spent time camping as a child, it can have a Christmas/holiday type excitement.  Then, as you start to drift back down from reminiscing, logic and reality spark.  How many diapers do we need?  Did we pack toys?  When should we leave so that nap is not interrupted?  Do we have enough room?  Will we be warm or too cold?  The list goes on…

When camping with kids it’s always easier and more fun to go with other friends who have kids because it takes a village..lol  This will allow the kids to have a blast while entertaining each other, creating memories and exploring nature.  It will also give you the time needed to unplug from the trenches of parenthood and drink a beer with your fellow soldiers.

This was our first camping trip as a family and we decided to rent an RV.   We used RV rental outlet in Mesa AZ.  They were awesome and very easy to deal with.  Most of our friends have pop-up campers.  We realized, after renting an RV, that it’s nice to be able to disconnect from the pop-up and have a vehicle to go into town and or explore some trails.  We later purchased a pop-up because of this and a few other reasons.

Where to go?  Are you trying to escape the heat? It was helpful to check the weather in the area that you are thinking of visiting.

In AZ you usually want to be above 6,000 feet in elevation to get 70/80s when its 105+ in valley.  Most of lower lying areas like Payson and Prescott still hit 100s during the day in the summer.  This can make things the opposite of fun quickly.

We decided to go to a campground, Yavapi Campground to be exact, that requires reservations, has bathrooms, is closer in proximity to town and is 3 hours or less from Phoenix.  Keep in mind that cell service can be non-existent in some of these areas.  If you have a job that requires checking in, this could  make or break your true relaxation.  Research the options for connecting to ensure that you can connect when needed but still enjoy the feeling of being disconnected.   Verizon service was the strongest and existent in many areas while AT&T had no service anywhere at the campground.

When to go?  Make sure to check availability especially if traveling on a holiday.  Campsites fill up quickly and most are reserved for holidays 30+ days in advance.

The drive up to Yavapai was super simple from Phoenix.  Mostly I17.  Consider the traffic going north on Fridays and south on Sundays.  It’s best to hit the road before 3pm or after 6pm.

Yavapai Campground is 10 minutes from downtown Prescott, food & supplies.  It is less than 1.5 miles from Lynx Lake.  It’s within walking distance to the campground but beware, it’s downhill to the lake but uphill all the way back.  It might be best to take the car if you have little littles.

 

The next thing we did was make a “to do” list a few days in advance, listing all supplies from clothes (be sure to include warm clothes for nighttime) to household supplies like dish soap, paper towels and garbage bags.  We planned to make and eat most of our meals at the campground so the list continued with cooking supplies, food, snacks, cookware and storage supplies.  Of course, we could not forget the most important part, S’mores supplies!!  We did work out a “meal share” plan with our friends which basically means each family is in charge of one meal feeding the entire clan.  We each took our turn and it worked out great!

We had a great time and would fully recommend this campground to anyone looking for family friendly Prescott camping areas.

 

 

Matt Lambert is a local Realtor, super Dad and lover of the great outdoors. Find out more about Matt at EvoAZ.com.

 

Want to live close to the great outdoors but still be close to the freeway system and work?  Located at Val Vista and McKellips, this 4 bedroom home is not only affordable but in a great location, just a quick drive to the lake or mountains!  Details here or call 480-250-0023.

 

 

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MOMnationAZ.com presents PROM2018: A Prom for Parents

On Saturday, August 18, from 6pm to 11pm, 100 couples and probably even a few singles going stag, will gather at the historic Crowne Plaza in Chandler to dance the night away at this Prom for Parents. ‘As parents we don’t have many opportunities to get together and party the night away old school style’ as Katie Halle Lambert, the founder of MOMnation describes.

East Valley mom of four, Jessica Nelson, not only attended PROM2017 last year she also helped with decorations and the evening’s agenda. ‘I really enjoy the social opportunities that MOMnation offers but I also love diving in and helping with all the awesome events the group organizes throughout the year.’

And, just like the high school prom, some moms that have attended the event in the past say their emotions and confidence can be a rollercoaster ride.

Jeni Cohen, a Mesa Mom of five, admits ‘I was a little shy and hesitant about meeting new people before I joined this group over three years ago and now I can’t imagine life without them. The variety of events and opportunities that group provides help Moms of all personality types find real friends that they click with.’

Mesa business owner Emilie Nikolich Mom of two states, ‘My life is busy.  MOMnation gives me an opportunity to plug in when I can on a social and professional level and I never feel like I have missed a thing.’

All agree that the annual Prom for Parents is an amazing way to recharge their social batteries and meet new friends.

What’s to expect at this Prom for Parents? MOMnation’s founder, Katie Halle Lambert says, ‘The ticket price includes a great variety of yummy appetizers served throughout the night, an entry into the drawing for some awesome prizes (someone won an iPad last year) and entertainment emceed by a pro DJ. And, of course, we’ll crown Prom King and Queen.’

This is the second annual Prom for Parents that the Phoenix moms group has organized and last year, the first, was sold out. Each year is a different theme. The PROM2017 theme was the 80’s and this year it’s masquerade ball. The upcoming event is open to the public and is priced at $28 which includes appetizers. Crowne Plaza is offering discounts on rooms for Prom attendees. For more information, visit the Eventbrite page.

MOMnation is a Phoenix, AZ area based social group exclusively for MOMs that coordinates social gatherings, business opportunities and local resources for its members.  Follow @momnationAZ on Instagram.

Contact:

Katie Lambert,MOMnation Leader/Founder
MOMnationAZ@gmail.com

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Escape the Phoenix heat to Mount Ord!

Mount Ord

Escape 105 degrees to 80 degrees in 90 min. Mount Ord is a great destination to not only escape the heat but also to enjoy the beauty nature offers ascending from 1086ft to 7129ft above sea level. With young kids this trip is great because it’s not an entire day in the car and they will easily sleep on the way home.

Facts:

1. MAP –  All wheel drive recommended

This is a fire road that is regularly maintained. This mountain is above 7000ft and the weather/conditions can change very quickly. I have seen AWD mini vans at the summit in dry conditions. I have driven it in heavy rain/snow and the road can get very muddy and a little scary even in our Jeep.

Here’s the  moderate / experienced 4×4 route

2. Hiking is available at the summit and along the fire road. The decommissioned fire tower at the top is about a 1/2 mile hike from the locked gate.

3. Picnic areas do exist. Nothing formal but there is space to set up camping chairs and tables.

4. Camping is also available!

Our experience:

We have been visiting Mount Ord since our son was 3 years old. We usually depart our home here in the Valley around 8am and arrive at the top around 9:30am. When parked at the top, there is a spot just over the gate and to the left with an old tree that gives nice shade and a perfect place to set up a picnic. We usually go up with friends and our German Shepherd so the kids can play and we can enjoy the views at 75-80 degrees. Once noon comes it does heat up and can quickly get to mid to high 90s.

We quickly discovered this was a great spot to snow chase!

One Saturday this past winter, we noticed the weather in this area supported snow fall. We are both from New England and miss the snow at time so we felt drawn to go explore. We piled into the jeep, brought warm clothes and ascended.

It had rained a lot in the area so the ground was soft with lots of mud. It was hairy on a few occasions as the mud was deep and slick at some ridge points.

It was so cool to cross the elevation point where snow was accumulating.  As we continued, so did the accumulated amount. At the top there was 2-3” of fresh snow. Our kiddo loved it. We made a small snow man and threw snow balls but quickly ended up back in the jeep as it was a bit windy, wet and cold.

It was an amazing experience all packed into 4 hours and then, in 90 mins, we were back in the sunshine!

 

Matt Lambert is a local Realtor, super Dad and lover of the great outdoors. Find out more about Matt at EvoAZ.com.
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Summer Camps and Programs in the Phoenix AZ area

Summer is coming and the kiddos only have a few days left in the school year. MOMs are scrambling to find an exciting solution for summer child care. Luckily, there are several programs offered by the city and the local school districts but also some specialty programs. Check it out!

City and School Programs 

Avondale Elementary School

City of Chandler

Chandler Public schools

Gilbert Public Schools Kinder Camp

Gilbert Public Schools VIK Summer 

City of Mesa

Mesa Public Schools Athletics Department summer sports program

Paradise Valley Public Schools

City of Peoria

Peoria Public Schools

City of Phoenix

City of Scottsdale

City of Tempe

Local Gifted Program

AZ Smart Minds

Arts and Theatre

Center Stage Academy

Mesa Arts Center

Phoenix Country Day School

Kindergarten Prep 

Tiffany Davies is offering a COUNTDOWN TO KINDERGARTEN summer program. PM her on FB for more details!

Other Awesome Options

ASU Summer Enrichment

Boys and Girls Club

Skateland Summer Kids Camp

Looking to move?  This awesome Gilbert home is FOR SALE! 😍

Awesome Gilbert Home for Sale! Click the photo for details. Or call 480-250-0023.

 

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7 Kid-Friendly Ways to Stay Cool in Phoenix, AZ this Summer 🌞

Yes, it’s hot but you don’t have to go into hibernation this summer!  There’s plenty to do in the Valley of the Sun even in the summer months and you don’t have to spend a lot to do it.

Indoors and FREE:

Visit the local public library.  Our MOMs especially like the toddler friendly events at the Apache Junction Public Library , the Dobson Ranch Library and Scottsdale Public Library.

The i.d.e.a Museum in Mesa is offering another free admission day on Sunday, May 20th.  Children of all ages are invited to visit the museum from 12pm to 5pm.  The Sonoran Safari exhibition is being featured this season and they have an awesome toddler friendly section.

The Childrens Museum in Phoenix is offering a free admission day the first Friday of most months from 5pm to 9pm.

Visit video game arcades especially with younger kids.  Stay cool in the AC and let your 2 to 4 year-old loose in the arcade.  They will think they are playing the games with you and will have fun with all the buttons and lights.  Dave and Busters is free to visit with the added bonus of the restaurant and bar. 😉

Also indoors:

Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center in Chandler is extremely reasonable and offers season passes for families.

Harkins has an awesome summer movie program that costs less than $1.00 per movie for 10 weeks.  Tickets are on sale now at participating locations.

Under 6 can jump for $5 at Xtreme Air.

Go ice skating!  We like the Ice Den in Scottsdale.  5 and under skates for $5 ($3 with own skates).   3 and under skates for free at AZ Ice in Gilbert.

Local Beaches:

Looking for a beach?  Yes, we are in the desert but we do have a few beaches around believe it or not!

You might see some wildlife at Butcher Jones.  If you have a 4×4 vehicle you can go back into the coves where there are more beaches that are less crowded.

Apache Lake has a campground, a marina and a jaw-dropping view.

Hit the beach but stay in the city at Waikiki Beach Wave Pool at Big Surf in Tempe.

Get your pool pass: 

There are some great public pools but did you know that you can get a day pass to the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa in Phoenix?

Day passes are also available at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia.  Enjoy the rooftop pool!

Old Fashion Ice cream parlors:

1950’s style Sugar Bowl has been serving up cool treats in Scottsdale since 1958.  They also have a gift shop and offer birthday parties in their new arcade parlor.

Mary Coyle Ol’ Fashion Ice Cream in Phoenix has been around since 1951.  Get an old fashioned sundae, ice cream soda or the popular authentic banana split!

Homemade Fun:

Get a snow cone maker!   The kids will love making their own snow cones and playing with the different colors and flavors.  You’ll love how easy it is to keep them entertained.

Have an Arizona snowball fight!  Pick your teams, dip these water balls in water and toss!

Make a ‘water piñata’!  Fill a bunch of water balloons, get some string and tie the full balloons to a tree, the covered patio or wherever you have enough room to swing a bat.  The more balloons you hang, the wetter you will be!

Move to a neighborhood with awesome amenities:

Seriously though!  HOA payments are much easier to make when you are enjoying the splash pad and community center at Eastmark, or the sandy beach and clubhouse at Val Vista Lakes or the fishing derby’s and movie in the pool at Dobson Ranch.  Click here to request a list of awesome, family friendly neighborhoods in the greater Phoenix area.

Visit our Calendar for a list of our upcoming summer events!

Photo Credit to Photos by Jessica Nelson

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Top 5 Reasons Moms are loving Eastmark in Mesa

What’s all the buzz about Eastmark lately?  Oh nothing…it’s just one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the country consistently recognized as the #1 seller in Arizona.

That’s all great but why are Moms loving it?

1. The variety of homes offered at many different price points suits the needs of a wide range of families.  If you aren’t the new build type and need to move a little more quickly, there are several gorgeous gently used resale homes available. Check with The New Build Ninja for the list of specs available and get the best of both worlds, the brand spanking new home and the quick move-in!

2. The community feel is strong between neighbors.  There are many active Facebook social groups like Eastmark Moms, Eastmark Neighbors  and Eastmark Babysitters Group .  The beer club, gardening club and healthy life group brings those with similar passions even closer together.  The Eastmark Experience info page will keep you up to speed on the First Friday concerts, holiday events and all the other neighborhood happenings.

3. The amenities make life much more enjoyable and ridiculously convenient.  No mom wants to pack everything and everyone up just to drive several miles to the public pool or the park for fear of having to quickly pack up again and come home because someone had a meltdown or an accident.  Some of our favorite amenities are the 12 neighborhood parks, the splash pad, the Handlebar Diner, the Great Park, the Visitors Center with game room and the neighborhood pool.  The upcoming farm, lighted ball park and dog park are sure to be winners once they are complete.

4. The schools are very attractive and very close.  Queen Creek high school is coming to Eastmark in 2019.  Eastmark offers two of the country’s top-ranked charter schools. BASIS Mesa at Eastmark will be serving grades K-12 starting in 2019.  Sequoia Pathfinder Academy at Eastmark is a STEAM-based elementary school that serves grades K-6.  The Learning Experience, serving the early education needs of children 6 weeks to 6 years, plans to open an Eastmark campus.  The public elementary school, Gateway Polytechnic, serves K-5.  There’s also a new Legacy Traditional School being built nearby that will be opening this year.

5. The commute is super reasonable.  These days anything affordable with the new home smell also comes with a 45 to 60 minute commute to the city depending on traffic. Eastmark is super close to the 202, the 24 and the 60.  It’s 30 mins to Phoenix Sky Harbor and 10 mins to Gateway Airport.  San Tan Village and all the shops and restaurants is 12 minutes away and Downtown Gilbert is only 18 mins away.

Got Eastmark questions?  Ask the New Build Ninja!

Jen Duncan (480) 707-7554
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Top Arizona Activities to Help You Keep Your New Year Resolutions

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.

Organized Running

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.

Hiking

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

Group Workouts

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.

Events

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!

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