Archives for April 2015

Friday Randoms V.16

Oh man, quiet over here in blog land. Some days I will tell you I literally just had nothing to write and other days I knew I had things to say but wasn’t really wanting to put them out there for all to read.

This week was just weird.  And hectic. And weird.  When we have a busy weekend, I feel like we don’t recover really well the next week.  Coupled with the fact that Cate has had a cold for a long time and a fever showed up Wednesday night which feels weirdly fitting for this week.  I caught a cold earlier this week and I am still suffering through it.  I feel like I have been sick every other month since Christmas.   Prior to this year, I have been pretty healthy but this year has not been great.  Add to that, work has been a beast.  I’ll just leave it at that for now.  A beast that I am not dealing with very well right now.  And I have to chaperone the prom on Saturday night.  It is a lovely night.  Really lovely night once you get there.   But getting there and the days leading up to it are hard.  No one likes being out on a Saturday night at my age until midnight, with teenagers and without booze.  The upside of all of this is that my mama is on her way and my pops will be here tomorrow so there’s that positive.

If you saw my Facebook post last weekend, my ma scored big at the Lilly Pulitzer for Target extravaganza last weekend. She braved the crowds since mine was not even bearable and managed to score quite a few things for Cate and I.  I’m dying to try them on and keep thinking some returns might make their way back in to the store soon. A girl can hope right? Have you seen the resale market? Ebay sellers are charging the same for this merchandise as it costs for regular Lilly stuff. Insanity I tell you.

Brady is in full t-ball swing. We followed the rules and put him in the 4/5 year old league for non-Kindergartners and let me tell you- big mistake playing by the rules. He was huge. A beast among babies and his athleticism really showed.  So we moved to the kindergarten league where tons of kids not in kindergarten are playing but it is pretty much the same and we are waiting for him to say he is bored. I’m not ready for him to get older but I am ready for him to start playing more organized sports. I need something to challenge him on that front besides Glenn and I in the front yard.

Around the Internet

I am truly a loyalist and a lover of J. Crew. But lately, some of their stuff has my head scratching.  This article is so funny and on point.  Bring back the classics. Please. http://nypost.com/2015/04/13/j-crew-is-floundering-and-jenna-lyons-is-to-blame/

This article is interesting just because I know people that this situation is theirs but I fall in the others category where it is not the case.  I don’t feel like I “get it” or it “resonates” with me because honestly I work because it makes sense financially,  for insurance and because I love it.  If one of those things changed, I’m not sure where I would stand. If there is one thing being married to my husband has done, it has made me have a more critical eye with money. Scary.

And finally, this video had tears running down my face.

What We Ate

Monday- Grilled Kabobs

Tuesday- Grilled Chicken and Scalloped Potatoes

Wednesday- Sushi and Sandwiches

Thursday- Burgers

Friday- ?

Happy Weekend. Enjoy it… I know I am ready for some time with my mama and pops.

 

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Scottsdale Spring Break

My husband’s only request when we talked about spring break for this year was he did not want to go back to Florida. I am from the school of tradition and he is from the school of trying new things. So, given that he has finally conceded and realized that we will also have to travel at spring break I agreed to try something new.  It’s all about compromises right?

We knew we needed to go somewhere that weather would not be an issue.  We concluded we could go to Arizona or Mexico.  I am just not ready to travel internationally with my kids.  So, it was Arizona or bust.

Where We Stayed: Westin Scottsdale Kierland Villas

The Basics: Overall, we had a lovely week at the Kierland.  It is a five star resort and we realized that between their shuttles, golf carts and proximity to everything we probably didn’t need a rental car. The main resort was huge.  I mean it was massive.  We chose to stay in the Villas which were separated from the main resort by a golf course.  We had a one bedroom villa with golf views.

THE GOOD- We were on the first floor which with kids was awesome. The resort was clean and the staff, specifically housekeeping and the pool staff was so friendly.  And the concierge was really helpful.  Our pool was QUIETER than the main resort pool.  There were outdoor bars at both resorts so we could easily get drinks after dinner and let our kids run. The shuttle service between the resorts, the Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Quarter was awesome.  Our kids loves the activities at the pool, the games all around the pool area and the constant activity.  The food options at the pool and for room service were great which included large kids menus.  The bagpiper each night was so cool to watch and listen to in the evenings.

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MY COMPLAINT- Being new to the resort, we did not realize that some things would be impossible to do.  For example, they really promote and our kids were really excited to go to a kid’s only pajama party while adults ate at one of their gourmet restaurants.  The problem was they were fully booked for the pajama party every night we were there in February.  Would have been nice to know that we needed to do that way in advance.

TIPS and TRICKS

  1. Both pools opened at 9am and there was a line to get in by 8 each morning if you wanted a deck chair.  If you want to rent a cabana at either pool, do it in advance. They were booked for the week well before we arrived.
  2. Buy an inner tube for each kid. It could be used on the water slides, on the lazy river and in the pools the entire week. Best money we spent.
  3. Book your Pajama Party, Kids Club (we didn’t use this), and cabana in advance if you want access.
  4. Do not use the hotel crib. They promised it was a full size crib and it was a mini. It was tiny. Cate was a trooper and slept in it but just rent one.  On that note, we used Sweet Pea Baby Rentals for car seats and a stroller and I can’t say enough great things about Sarah and her services. Our Bob Jogging Stroller was in amazing condition and our car seats were clean and easy to get installed.  Sarah was so easy to work with.  If you need to do rental of gear in Scottsdale, use her! She was the best we used on any vacation.

Where We Ate:

Breakfast- We ate breakfast in our villa most mornings but ventured to a great place across the street from our hotel one morning called PERK.  It was great food and inexpensive.  Cute diner with really great breakfast.

Lunch- This varied by day whether we were at the pool and ordered to our deck chairs, were out and about and ate at places like Corner Bakery or In n Out which was ridiculously good.

Dinner

Sunday Night {GRIMALDI’s}- The pizza was super thin and the sauce was on the sweet side but it was really good. We ordered a house salad that was okay. Easy meal for our first night.  RECOMMEND

Monday Night {Catina Laredo}- This place was awesome.  It was not overpriced and the food was fantastic.  Glenn had spinach and mushrooms enchiladas and I had ahi tuna tacos.  We had tableside guacamole made and great drinks.  Probably our favorite meal. HIGH LY RECOMMEND

Tuesday Night {Brio Italian Food}- This was probably our worst meal of the week. The food was generic, portions were tiny and it was expensive. Honestly, it felt like bad chain food.  SKIP IT

Wednesday Night {RA Sushi and Room Service}-  We ordered room service for the kids and picked up RA Sushi for Glenn and I. It was fine but by no means great.  The room service kids menu was great and our kids ate everything! It was quick, affordable and the service/delivery was great.  As for RA it’s a SKIP IT.

Thursday Night {Zipps Sports Bar}- This is a hidden gem! We went in with LOW expectations but wanted to watch some of the Blackhawks game.  The food was fantastic, our waitress was great and it was reasonably priced.  The wings were fantastic (think Schooners style) and our burgers were huge! HIGHLY RECOMMEND

Friday Night {Benihana}- It was a cool experience and one that we promised Brady. I by no means need to go back but I am glad we went since Brady loved every minute of it. NEUTRAL

What We Did

We were not super scheduled out in Scottsdale but we had some fun.

We went to a Spring Training game that was a blast except it was REALLY HOT. Sloan Park was unreal.  We made it 3.5 innings in the outfield grass.  We took a pedicab to and from the stadium which was really fun.  Our kids loved that. The stadium was new and beautiful and there were tons for our kids to do when they weren’t watching the game.

We spent a morning at McCormick-Stillman Park.  It was huge and had tons of things to explore. We rode the train and carousel, got to walk thru a Presidential Pullman car and they had a HUGE park that was covered where our kids could have played forever.

One morning we went to Cracker Jax and did the whole amusement park. We played mini golf, rode bumper boats, kid go carts, played in the batting cage and games.  It was not expensive and our kids had so much fun!

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We had such a great vacation in Scottsdale.  I am not going to lie… I missed the water. I missed waking up to waves being able to walk in the surf each day but Scottsdale blew my expectations away. The sun was shining every single day and there was not one ounce of humidity which was great.

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Project 52 Week 14

I did not take my fancy camera to AZ. So, you get a collage of Instagram pictures that I posted over the past week. az

 

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Monday Ramblings

Well, hello Monday! I guess it was inevitable that after a week on vacation we are back at it in full daily routine mode. I’m planning on telling you all about our vacation to Scottsdale later but I will tell you this much- it was really sunny, really hot and a lovely break from our daily reality. I’ll give you all the details in the next week or so- where we stayed, what we did and what we learned.

Our return from Scottsdale was made a bit easier since Mimi and PawPaw were at our house waiting for us.  They had dinner ready, Easter baskets completed, eggs stuffed and our refrigerator full. Honestly, that took a ton of stress off my plate. Seriously, we had a 2 hour delay leaving Phoenix so the travel day home was long.

We had our first Easter Egg Hunt at our house and it was so much fun. Cate and Brady are so compeititive and so in to the spirit of holidays.  5.5 and 3.5 are pretty awesome ages.  Look at his face (taken from my instagram account).

Easter

I can’t believe that April is already here! I guess that is great news since we are on the final countdown to summer vacation and all the fun that comes with it. The beach, the pool, the lazy mornings and long nights outside.

April is a really hectic month for us.  Full of good stuff but it’s hard when you have been gone for 7 days to not feel overwhelmed when you get back. I have to do lists inside to do lists that I need to tackle.

I want to tell you about my Orangetheory obsession and what I’ve been reading.

But for now, Happy Monday folks!

 

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