Family fun, Getaway, Staycation, Travel

IHotel Valley Ho

Perfectly placed in Downtown Scottsdale, the Hotel Valley Ho is the perfect place to staycation this summer. It’s location makes it prime as its just steps away from the downtown vibrant Scottsdale culture, the inventive dining and trendy nightlife.

My family recently stayed at the Hotel Valley Ho and enjoyed a one-of-a-kind getaway!

He just couldn’t give up the pool.

Room service … too phoney?

Teaching him how to order room service

We had different “staycation” plans… hello wine.

Buy Charlie’s shoes here: http://amzn.to/2vjEaPR


FOODIE
Need a foodie recommendation: Visit the ZUZU AT HOTEL VALLEY HO.

The ZuZu serves enticing, inventive American fare from Chef Russell LaCasce along with yummy festive cocktails. You and your family can dine inside, on the shaded patio, or if your feeling sunburnt from spending all day at the oasis, you can order it bed side. They serve breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.

If you want food within walking distance try CULINARY DROPOUT.
Culinary Dropout serves tasty gastro-pub food, cocktails and has the best atmosphere around town. Happy hour and brunch comes curbside with live music.

PARKING

Want some secret advice? The Hotel Valley Ho charges $18 per day, plus tax for valet parking. Plus an additional $10 a day per vehicle (if you have friends join you). Park along 69th for free city parking and use that $18 on an extra drink poolside!

POOLS

The Hotel Valley Ho has two remarkable pools. I took Charlie (my 2 year old) to the resort so we spent almost all of our time at the OHasis pool. The OHasis Pool is a tranquil retreat, ideal for leisurely laps, lounging, and even features a small pool for children. Its the perfect spot to relax under towering palms. Don’t waste your time packing pool towels and water bottles, all the pools have ice cold fresh water available and towels. And if water is’nt up your alley, refreshing cocktails can be delivered in a snap.

EVENTS & SPECIALS

https://www.hotelvalleyho.com/pools/events-specials

 

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Family fun, Product Photography, Toddlers

iplay Baby

I feel like we may be the only family in Arizona without a pool. We often find ourselves at my parents’ house, or my in laws house because of this. I recently received some iPlay items for this summer and I was so pleased with the quality of their items. Charlie loved the brightness and comfort of everything. In fact, he wouldn’t take the swim trunks and hat off.

Find ‘i play baby’ here: https://iplaybaby.com/iplay/swimwear?gclid=CM2Urtqr49QCFcxMDQodlPoH9g

The Reusable Swim Diaper has a three layer design that helps prevent diaper rash and keeps the potty messes inside the diaper and out of the pool… because no one likes the kid who pooped in the community pool (sorry if that was you.) They are snug fitting and lightweight and have e easy lock snaps on the side for easy application and take off.

Find the Reusable Swim Diaper here: https://iplaybaby.com/iplay/swimwear/tropical-snap-reusable-absorbent-swimsuit-diaper?color=2581

The Pocket Trunks with Built In Reusable Absorbent Swim Diaper also have a three layer design. My husband likes these best as he thinks they are more “manly” on Charlie. They have a wicking liner that helps to prevent diaper rash. They also fit snug and are lightweight. Charlie loves the colors and the monkey design!


Find the Pocket Trunks With Built-In Reusable Absorbent Swim Diaper: https://iplaybaby.com/iplay/tropical-pocket-trunks-with-built-in-reusable-absorbent-swim-diaper?color=2585

The iplay water shoes are perfect for the Arizona pool sessions. I don’t know how many times I’ve burnt my feet on the cool deck while walking out to the pool. I’ve found that these are also perfect for the beach when the sand gets hot! They are made of a quick dry material and have a no-slip bottom that prevents baby from cracking his head open when he decides to make a poor decision and run on slippery wet cement. They are easy to pull off and easy to place on because of the flexible breathable material.

Find the water shoes here: https://iplaybaby.com/iplay/swimwear/swim-shoes?color=243

The sun flap protection hat is one of Charlies favorites. It is UPF 50+, dries quickly, is lightweight, and has the extra neck coverage to prevent baby sunburns. It also has a tie strap (with the cutest little felt design … only a mom would notice this ;)) that makes it adjustable to fit babies head as it grows.

Find the sun flap protection hat here:

http://amzn.to/2w7DxGu

The Breatheasy Sun Protection Shirt is one of my favorites. Not only is it classy but I like to have Charlie wear it out and about on the hot summer days. Its UPF 50+ which means I don’t have to lather him up with sticky sunscreen prior to going out on our adventures. Its made of a breathable, quick dry, lightweight material with a pocket in the front. The shirt has a pull on neck opening which makes application easy and take off even easier.

 

Find the Breatheasy™ Sun Protection Shirt here:

http://amzn.to/2uX9Hpx

The Muslin Hood Towel is made of organic muslin and knitted terry. It has 2 layers for extra absorbency and warmth. It even has a hood and 2 hand pockets to help keep baby warm.


Find the Muslin Hooded Towel here:

http://amzn.to/2vjHZUY

 

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Family fun, Product Photography

TreeHut Co.

Find Treehut here: https://treehut.co/

What an amazing company…to say the least. All of their items are handcrafted in a small San Francisco studio. They have a team of 20 people that make it all possible. They deliver naturally unique and handcrafted products that are made with love out of real wood.

Recommended:

Vintage 70 Sunglasses: https://treehut.co/collections/treehut-wooden-sunglasses-for-her/products/silver-wooden-sunglasses-vintage-keyhole-70?variant=1207799875

The Vintage 70 Wooden Sunglasses are by far one of my favorite items I’ve received…ever! They are stylish, modern, sleek, and classy. They fit perfectly and are so lightweight on the face that I even sometimes forget I have them on. The temples are made from real wood. They even have my name engraved on the side….so don’t have any sticky finger thoughts! 😉

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Book Reviews, Family fun, Toddlers

Father’s Day with Macmillan 

  

Saturday with Daddy by Dan Andreasen: Charlie’s favorite part of this book is the simple fact that it is written about a young elephant and his elephant daddy. Mommy’s favorite part? Listening to Charlie say elephant! Find it here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781466844407

Daddy Depot by Chana Stiefel: Charlie absolutely loved the pictures in this book! This book is not just perfect for father’s day, but perfect for everyday! This book illustrates the year round dedication father’s provide. I absolutely loved the silly idea of “shopping” for a new dad. (Oh and to Ray (my dad), I promise I would pick you over and over again.) Find it here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250058898

Daddies are Awesome by Meredith Costain: This book has such a sweet storyline and super cute illustrations that celebrate all kinds of daddies. Charlie absolutely loved all the pictures of the daddy dogs and their puppies. Mommy loves that it’s a board book and Charlie can’t rip the pages out! J Find it here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781627794527

My Daddy Rules the World by Hope Anita Smith: This book has powerful poems that complement and explore the special relationship between daddy and baby. Find it here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780805091892

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Family fun

Flagship Cruises

Flagship Cruises and Events: http://www.flagshipsd.com
Flagship Dinner Cruise: http://www.flagshipsd.com/cruises/nightly-dinner-cruise

We recently joined Flagship Cruises for their Nightly Dinner Cruise.

We had passed the Flagship stand so many times that we almost became accustomed to walking past it, like we were blind to it. Until some people in our group decided to stop by the stand and check out what they were all about.

And I am so glad they did!

We decided to join them on their Saturday Night Dinner Cruise.

The service was impeccable, the views were unforgettable, and the evening was one of the most memorable family nights we had on the trip. 

We started off the cruise with champagne, and Charlie enjoyed himself to some apple cider. I added the ‘Hosted Bar’ to my ticket and let me tell you, it was SO worth it! The Merlot and Bloody Mary’s were amazing! I would definitely recommend adding this onto your reservation!

Charlie loved watching the boat take off, and screamed with delight at the people waving at him from the shore. He kept yelling “On a boat! In the water!” I did not know someone could be this excited about being on a boat… that in itself made mommy so happy.

We then had a three course gourmet dinner followed by the most amazing dessert which included lemon bars, caramel brownies, strawberries with whipped cream and cheesecake. Yes… all four. And I did not control myself.

The ship sailed 25 miles along the San Diego coastline. There was music, dancing, and the beautiful night lights of the city.

I would recommend this over and over for both locals and for tourists. I will definitely be taking my friend and my family on this again!

Thank you Flag ship cruises!!

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Family fun, Toddlers

One Big Happy Red, White and Cute

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service fighting for our freedom here in the United States of America. This year, Gymboree’s perfectly coordinated “Americana” design fits the occasion to a tee! Find the collection here: http://search.gymboree.com/clothes/Americana
Every year to celebrate Memorial Day, my family gets together at my parents’ house to hang out by the pool. We grill hamburgers, hot dogs and my mom always makes the best homemade potato salad. We may also pour some Margaritas but that’s a story for another time.

This year the family plans to continue our “poolside” tradition. There are always lots of jokes, laughter and stories. We have two babies in the family and they are typically the center of all activity and attention. Gymboree’s Americana outfits will be the perfect addition to our summer tradition.

A couple of my favorite items from the Americana collection are the Flag shirt and the Stars Shirt from the Star Spangled Days collection. Find them here: http://www.gymboree.com/shop/item/boys-flag-shirt-140167128?Port=DataFeed&ad=SLI, http://www.gymboree.com/shop/item/boys-stars-shirt-140167130?Port=DataFeed&ad=CERTONA

Subscribe to my blog, and comment on this blog post for a chance to win a Gymboree gift card!

Bracelets by: Same SkyFun fact: For those that know me, you know how into gardening I am. Some of my favorite flowers are peonies, ranunculus, and poppies. I’ve mastered the art of growing poppies, and every spring, my garden beds are full of them. Did you know that wearing poppies was a tradition for Memorial Day that originated from the poem “In Flanders Fields.”

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