STAYcation: [vacation close to home]
My husband and I recently celebrated our nine year wedding anniversary with a STAYcation at one of our favorites! When you live in a state that offers some of the most beautiful resort options available, why leave town to have a good time!? As you already know from my previous posts, we are big fans of STAYcations and constantly promote the idea of staying nearby and enjoying all of the amenities that your city and state have to offer! We selected the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa because it holds a special place in our hearts and is filled with sweet memories over the last 9 years of our relationship. Plus, it is beyond fabulous!
The JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona is simply stunning! From the second you walk in, you feel like you’re at a desert oasis. The pool area is magnificent with different areas to lounge and delight in their decadent drinks and poolside food. You can also jump on a raft and float along the lazy river. With several different pools to chose from, our personal favorite is the waterfall pool because you get an awesome experience of a tranquil waterfall with a nearby DJ providing musical glory!
The JW Marriott Desert Ridge offers a fabulous grand entrance, and the rooms are so accomodating; once you arrive, there is no reason to leave. They have everything you could possibly need, want or desire on site: an incredible spa, a full service Starbucks, a large store/souvenir shop, nightly live music, top notch restaurants, kids activities, golf course and unbelievable views in every direction you look.
Don’t just take my word for it, enjoy a few photos from our amazing weekend away and trust me you, too, will want to stay here!
When you become a mom, you hear so often that you need to enjoy every minute because time flies by… overused advice, but oh so true! I am so grateful for all of the time and cherished moments we’ve shared together. Memories have been made, time has flown by, and though I don’t want to believe it, here we are… my daughter’s first day of Kindergarten. How can my first-born and little bestie, that I have spent every waking minute with since the day I found out we were growing our family, be starting school? I am flooded with emotions. Everything from excitement to sadness to loneliness to nervousness… but most of all, I am overwhelmed with a sense of pride in who she is and who she’s becoming. If I could pass on a few important things, these would be what I would want you to take with you as you enter your Kindergarten class.
Dear Paisley – On your first day of Kindergarten, my wish for you is…
We took our girls out to the woods of Prescott, Arizona for their first camping weekend as a family of four. To give you a little perspective, our girls are 4.5 and 2.5 years old and this was our first time all sleeping together in one small space… without a pack n’ play! My husband was raised camping and in the outdoors so he had been dreaming of the day that our girls would be old enough to enjoy a trip like this, and this was our first attempt. To say it went well is an understatement… much to my surprise it went great! But don’t get me wrong, with any trip you come across a few hiccups here and there. But, it was so much fun to take the girls off the grid, push everyday rules to the side and just let them enjoy being kids for the trip… and I know that we made memories as a family they will not forget.
If you are like me, and questioning whether or not your family is ready for a camping trip, I say go for it! You will never know until you try. And to help you out, here are a few of my ‘camping with kids’ recommendations. I hope these ideas help make your trip extra enjoyable for all – we all want happy campers!
Dear June 2017,
June, you definitely cranked up the heat here in Arizona, so it has been a month of water fun! You marked our 9 year wedding anniversary and we were able to enjoy a STAYcation filled with umbrella drinks and poolside lounging. We also had the best time celebrating our daddy bear on Father’s Day and snuck away to the mountains for our first family camping trip. But, don’t let all the fun outdoor adventures fool you, if we weren’t swimming, we were inside basking in air conditioning and the girls enjoyed indoor summer camps! Thank goodness for indoor activities!
We are so excited and thankful to get to enjoy one more month of family fun before school starts, so please be kind, July.
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – June 2017 ::
Dear May 2017,
I guess time flies when you’re having fun! May, where did you go!?… You brought the end of preschool and with it an excited heart that awaits the start of kindergarten… que mommy tears! We spent all month in swim lessons, so we are now ready for summer and official pool season!
We were blessed with family in town and some long overdue family fun! And of course, who can forget Mother’s Day… I was spoiled by my loves. I even got to break away for a mini staycation with my BFF for some much needed kid-free girl time, whoop-whoop! As I look back on all of the fun times and memories that were made, I’m realizing that May 2017 completely exceeded my expectations!
June… You have some big shoes to fill, so let’s bring on the SUMMER fun!… and go easy on us with those triple digit temperatures! #arizonaliving #thestruggleisreal
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – May 2017 ::
Dear April 2017,
April, you were such a great month, I struggled to pick only nine photos to showcase all of our adventures. You are always my favorite month not only because of the fabulous weather, or because you are my birthday month, but because of Easter. Holidays are so special and memorable now that we share them with two littles.
We also had so much fun traveling and enjoying the great outdoors on a Sedona getaway. As you can see from our photos, it will be hard to beat this month!
May… Bring on new adventures and more memories, we are ready for you!!
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – April 2017 ::
Easter is here! I absolutely love this time of year. From Palm Sunday to Good Friday to Easter… it’s all about Jesus, and its so exciting to teach my girls that He is Risen, He is Risen indeed! I also love all of the Easter festivities such as egg hunts and matching Easter dresses. When I was a little girl, my parents were intentional in teaching us all about Jesus during this wonderful and special time, and of course, they added in ridiculous amounts of candy, eggs, and bunny rabbits! A special memory I have as a little girl growing up was getting a new dress every year for Easter. Every year my mom would dress my sister and I in new fluffy tule matching dresses, while matching my little brother in his darling suspenders. Some of my favorite family photos are those taken on Easter in our Sunday best. Knowing how much I love that tradition, I have continued it with my girls and thank goodness they love to match!
Every year, immediately after Christmas, I start looking for darling and affordable Easter looks… terrible, I know. This year I fell for these bright floral dresses. I love going with a pop of color mixed with a cheerful pattern. Easter is such a happy and springy time, and as their momma, I believe their outfits should embody that! Enjoy these sweet Easter photos, and remember the perfect accessory this Easter is a matching or festive basket! 😉
I have been so excited to share this with you! I was honored with the opportunity to model on a Just Destiny Mag and World Market Styled Easter Brunch collaboration. It was a fun filled day of watching the talented Destiny work her magic with fabulous pieces from World Market. I was able to test out all of the yummy recipes, indulge on the eye candy that is the decorations and learn from the best when it comes to designing a themed tables-cape. Destiny has every aspect covered for your Easter brunch from one-of-a-kind recipes, matching decor, bunco cards/gifts and so much more. Thanks to Destiny and World Market we can all throw an Easter gathering that is one for the books!
If you are not familiar with Just Destiny Mag let me spill the beans. Destiny is a lifestyle blogger, designer, wife to her Mr. Right, mom of 3 and a sweet friend of mine since high school. She lives her life rooted in her faith and gives God all of the glory. Check out her online publication HERE and get ready to drool over all of her creative projects.