Hey everyone! So it’s been a few days since we got back from our annual end of the summer family getaway. This year we closed our summer by staying at the Omni Ranchero Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, CA. I found this place to be a hidden gem for young families like us so I wanted to take a moment to share our experience with you guys as well as some tips and info we picked up.
Right now (End of August) is considered to be off season for the Coachella Valley so we were able to book rooms for a lot cheaper than usual. Our stay cost us about $180 a night plus resort fees (as opposed to $350/night). My oldest didn’t start school until today so the timing was perfect for us.
Here’s a short clip of our room. We didn’t opt for something super close to the pool for budget reasons but the 3 minute walk wasn’t unbearable. (Even in 106 degree weather with 3 kids).
I ran into the pool area at 9:01am (pool opens at 9am) just to get clean photos for you guys! Hope they come in handy.
If you’re bringing a baby to Splashtopia here are a few tips:
Yes, you can bring a portable crib for your baby to lounge in! I wasn’t smart enough to think of this but I saw a few moms with cribs during my stay. (Why didn’t I think of that?!)
Bring a spray bottle with water so you can mist your baby if it’s too hot. (it was 106 when we went!)
Yes, babies in swim diapers are allowed in the family pools.
You don’t have to swim all day
Omni Ranchero Las Palmas Resort & Spa offers a schedule of events like Morning walks, Mermaid University, Poolside games, Ceramic Woodcraft painting, Omni Murder Mystery, Dive-In Movie, and Designer S’mores.
Of course, some of these activities are an additional fee
Ok, going on to my last tip:
If you’re going to hangout by the lazy pool here are the best spots:
Here’s why:Although all seats are covered by over-sized umbrellas, these spots are closest to the mist fence, offer the widest range of view and the waiters/waitresses walk by here a lot. When I walked in at 9:15am (opening time is 9) these spots were the first to be taken.
Thank You Omni Hotels! We loved our stay and the kids can’t wait to go back. This was only our first trip to Omni Ranchero Las Palmas Resort & Spa. I would say it’s a beginning to an annual tradition for our family. Have you visited before? Did you guys enjoy your stay?
Disclosure: Yes, I have ads in my blog post! This is because if you click on the ads and buy something from Amazon using my link, I’ll get a small commission with absolutely no extra cost to you. This is just so I can continue to blog. Let’s be real here, blogging can cost money. Thanks in advance for any and all support. Much peace and love.
I had never heard of them before so naturally, I had to do a little bit of research. And…You can’t really say you’ve researched a food without trying it right? So there I was “researching” on the sofa and within just a few minutes I was left with an empty bag of Garlic Parm Banana Chips. Lol oops! (so yeah… I filled my empty bag.. ok, bags… with paper for this photo)
I never tried flavored banana chips before so I’m not sure if these are the best out there, but they’re really freaking good! Savory, crunchy, and addictive – did I mention they’re 100% real food and no refined sweeteners? There are very few snacks out there with these elements and taste – I’m definitely customer for life.
What I love about Bubba’s Fine Foods is that they’re made with REAL ingredients which means REAL flavors and they pack a great source of energy for my kids. We snacked on the granola, ‘nana chips, and snack mixes all day at the pool this weekend.
Out of my entire package, the Bourbon Vanilla Ungranola was absolutely my fav.
Perfect for topping yogurt bowls with fruit (for the kids) and then topping a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream for me…after the babies went to sleep (it’s called self love, mama)
Can’t wait to make a batch of energy bites with these!
Does anyone else have kids that constantly ask for snacks?
I feel like I’m walking into the kitchen every hour or more…. In the morning to early afternoon I can get away with fruits and some veggies but after 3 servings of cherries or baby carrots with ranch — my kids want the real goods. I’m not talking about the organic stuff I keep out in their view: They start asking for all the goodies I’m hiding in the top cabinet or on top of the fridge lol They want the potato chips packed with nasty oils, the artificial cheese, chocolate and candies (and yes, we have these type of snacks in our house because.. we’re human?)
Here’s where I whip out my bags of Bubba’s Fine Foods Snack Mixes.
Again, real foods with real ingredients.
They taste SO good and I feel good giving these to my kids.
Bubba’s Fine Foods Snacks on Amazon!
*** If any of the above information was useful and you are interested in purchasing anything mentioned in this post please use my Amazon links provided below and throughout my writing! By doing this I am able to receive a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you and I will be able to continue blogging and doing what I love to do! TIA – Janet.
The Coop Yorba Linda is nestled in the corner of a fairly busy plaza. This plaza also has a Starbucks, Churned Creamery (hands down my favorite place for ice cream and sweet treats in Yorba Linda, CA), Vons Supermarket, CVS among a variety of other small restaurants and retail stores.
I’ll be honest
There’s a bunch of indoor kids play grounds within a 15 minute radius of my house so I wasn’t all too excited when I heard another one was going to open nearby. I forgot about The Coop Yorba Linda and it’s grand opening until it was time to plan my daughters 2nd birthday party. Determined to find a good venue, I was compelled to Yelp my local party venue options. (I ended up having her birthday party at my house btw, photos to come!) By the time I finally checked this place out they had already been open for a month or two.
To put things simply, I.. I mean my kids loved The Coop Yorba Linda
There was plenty of parking and the place was spotless. I love the entire look and theme of the playground: It’s bright orange and yellow theme with hints of wood and grey make the perfect backdrop for photos (Instagram moms, You’ll like this place for sure). Once you walk in there’s a large table where you can eat snacks and drink coffee while the kids play with the doll house, drawing pad and crayons. Just like all other indoor playgrounds this venue requires all adults to wear socks. No socks required for the kids from what I remember, but you should probably bring socks for the kids anyways.
Once you get inside the main play area
The biggest and most obvious thing you’ll notice is the ball pit. It’s pretty big in size and they didn’t skimp out on the balls either. This fairly deep and well built ball pit features bright orange and yellow balls, 2 slides and climbing tunnel.
I started noticing the other play areas that are offered like the bounce house, interactive floor piano and games (I forgot to take photos of this, watch the video at the top of the page!), little play house, little riding cars and wooden toys… at first I thought The Coop was a little small compared to the other local indoor playgrounds. Maybe my oldest (who is 6 years old) would quickly get bored of a smaller space? But, I was wrong and The Coop Yorba Linda turned out to be a real gem for our family.
Plenty of parking
Fair price ($12 per child over 1- all day admission (which means you can go in and out – hint* STARBUCKS nearby and if you’re an Instagram-mama Churned Creamery is a MUST go – review coming soon!)
Super clean , like my kids socks barely got dirty type of clean.
Plenty of things for kids to do. My kids could spend 2 hours in just the ball pit alone.
The interactive floor piano was a great way for me to get up and play with my kids.
When you’re inside the play area you can pretty much see your kids from any seat you decide to take which is a huge plus for me.
You can’t really see your kids if you decide to leave them in the play area and have a cup of coffee in the lobby / snack table and you can’t bring any food or drink inside.
They don’t have food – besides some chips, juice and water they don’t offer much else. You are allowed to bring your own snacks as long as you eat then outside of the play area.
Interested in a birthday party here? You’ll need to pay with an arm or leg. I was truly ecstatic when I saw this place and thought this would be the perfect place for my daughters birthday – except their CHEAPEST package starts at $650.00. For all day you ask? No, for 2 hours and they still don’t include food in that price. Yikes.
On a regular day, this is a GREAT spot for younger toddlers and kids to enjoy. Hell, I enjoyed myself too! Jumping in the ball pit with my kids was fun.. a little too fun! Grab your mom besties and their kids, grab some snacks and coffee at Starbucks and head over to The Coop for play. Step out to eat, drop by the ice cream shop nearby and come back if you’d like. The entire place just screams “Instagram me now!!” so you’ll have beautiful photos at the end of your play date too! For a birthday party though… the price is just wayyy too much for me. If you could afford it – I suppose it’s worth it. They have beautiful decorations and entertainment options. They did explain to me that the prices are this way because of the layout of the venue: All parties are private. This means they shut down the entire place for your party. It sounds wonderful in theory but my wallet just isn’t this deep at the moment.
The Coop Yorba Linda 20655 Yorba Linda Blvd Ste A Yorba Linda, CA 92886
Hi all! Recently I had a few friends over and I had some of my Chewy And Sweet Nut Seed Fruit Squares out on my counter. Everyone plus the kids liked them and I thought I’d take a quick moment to share.
My kids love this because it’s sweet and chewy with little bits of crunch. It’s the perfect snack to keep in a zip lock in my purse and has been especially proven useful to me when my 2 year old is getting fussy. I will admit her hands can get a little sticky afterwards but her little toddler hands get sticky anyway so it’s never been a big deal for me. (Baby wipes!)
Chewy And Sweet Nut Seed Fruit Squares Raw Bar Recipe
2 cups of whatever nuts, seeds or dry fruit you want
2 spoonfuls of sugar
2 spoons of brown rice syrup
1 spoon of water
parchment paper/baking pan
For my version (pictured) I used:
Teeny bit of leftover quick oats (not cooked)
Feel free to chop up any kind of nuts, seeds and dry fruit and fill your 2 cups.
Brown rice syrup is a healthier alternative to corn syrup.
On medium heat roast your nuts/seeds mix in a pan until slightly fragrant. (Optional because you can decide to keep your nuts/seeds mix raw)
Turn off heat and mix in your dry fruit
In another pan have your sugar, rice syrup and water and start heating on medium/low. Once your mixture is melted and starts to bubble turn off the heat and mix in your nut mix. (Another great version of this is when you add 1-2 thin slices of ginger to the syrup mix and remove them before mixing in your nuts/seeds). Note: Careful not to burn your syrup!
Mix everything together well, once everything starts to cool down you’ll feel all the sugar mix getting thicker and stickier.
Have a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Pour your mix into the baking pan and use another paper to press down and flatten your mix.
Leave everything out at room temperature for about an hour. This keeps the bars more chewy and easier to eat for the kids.
Remove your nut/seed block from the pan and cut it into little squares or bars.
Keep in ziplock or airtight container for up to 7 days.
Enjoy! Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever tried this or have any questions!
Today I received a package with 3 VR (Virtual Reality) Viewers from Unofficial Cardboard. The kids and I had so much fun playing with these! With Unofficial Cardboard VR Viewers you can watch any 360 video from the YouTube app in virtual reality.
At under $10, these VR viewers are an affordable way to maximize your Olympics watching experience or really anything on YouTube360
Support Team USA with one of our ready-made designs or customize your own for your favorite country’s team or favorite sporting event
So, let’s start with how to assemble your Unofficial Cardboard VR Viewers.
If you flip your flat viewer there should be dotted arrows printed across the back.
There is an outside cover you can put to the side.
Pop open the viewer and take the bigger flaps and fold them in.
Fold the smaller flap on top and tuck the ends into the viewer.
Open the appropriate app and set up VR mode.
When ready, place your phone (screen side facing the glass part) and fold the cardboard flap up to cover the back of your phone.
Pull the elastic and tuck it into the tab to keep your phone in place.
Using the Unofficial Cardboard VR Viewers to watch the 2018 Winter Olympics live was a great experience for me and older kids (ages 6 and 2). It was so fun! Definitely a very unique way to experience the Olympic games without leaving the house. All 3 VR viewers came well packaged and was easy to assemble. Although made of cardboard the Unofficial Cardboard VR Viewers were surprisingly sturdy. (The passed the handled-by-a-2-year-old test). The quality of the print was great and the glasses worked well with the apps mentioned above.
Max (my 6 year old) said he wanted to watch all of his YouTube videos this way so we tried out a few Minecraft 360 videos off the YouTube app and he enjoyed that as well.
He especially liked this one.
*You can view this video (and any other YouTube 360 video) by clicking the glasses icon on the bottom right corner of the video on your smartphone in the YouTube app.
If you have a 360 camera you can record your marriage proposals, weddings, baby birthdays, birth videos, kids parties, family reunions…whatever! And watch and relive these moments over and over again with your VR viewers. I haven’t had much experience with VR but it definitely feels like it will be a normal part of how we share content with others!
So what do you think of the Unofficial Cardboard VR Viewers? Do you think you would purchase one for your next sporting event get together? Imagine having a Super Bowl or World Series party with these! Or maybe even custom printing them and using them at your next corporate event! The options are truly limitless.
Disclosure: I have received the Unofficial Cardboard VR Viewers for free in exchange for an honest review and content on my blog.
I’ve been wanting to buy my almost 2 year old daughter some form of dough or molding sand. On one of my daily trips to Target this week I just happened to notice MODO Modern Dough in the toy section conveniently placed next to the Play Doh. The modern packaging caught my attention and the colors looked bright and fun.
This package comes with 3 colors, containers with stamps on the sides and a wooden sculpting tool. I picked up a box with the Pink, Purple and Green colors.
As far as I can tell, MODO Modern Dough is exactly like Play Doh
It has the same or very similar texture to Play Doh. The colors are similar and nothing I would say is hugely different than other dough brands. This stuff smells the same as Play Doh. Heck, they could have just changed the packaging and sold it to me for more expensive, who knows. The only significant difference is that it’s definitely more expensive. The pack of 3 shown in my photos are about $5 at Target and it’s only available in stores. I couldn’t find this product online anywhere. (Sorry can’t link it!)
Here’s the good side:
My kids had a lot of fun playing with MODO. They loved the stamps and the carving tool. Everything was simple enough for my 23 month old to do and my 6 year old had fun teaching his little sister how to sculpt things with dough.
I do love the packaging
And the containers are definitely reusable! When our MODO Modern Dough dries out, I’ll most likely fill these containers up with some home made play dough, slime or sand. Aesthetically pleasing, for $5 I think this makes a great inexpensive gift for any kid ages 2+.
What Do You Think?
Would you purchase MODO Modern Dough for your kids or a gift? Let me know in the comments below!
Our journey with baby Eczema has been a long one as I am still going through the struggle.
Actual eczema photos ahead, you’ve been warned.
My second child had severe baby Eczema that affected her entire face and scalp, inside and outside of her ears, behind her ears, chest, and belly. It was devastating. As a breastfeeding mom I felt like a total failure… I thought maybe she has developed an allergy to something I’ve eaten recently or maybe even from when I was pregnant. Before I was able to figure out how to calm down her eczema flares I was waking up every 20-30 minutes for the first 3 months that my dear daughter was home.
Baby Melanie’s skin at 8 weeks was red and swollen from Eczema.
It was either hot to the touch and inflamed with a glossy “wet” look OR not so red, super dry with flaky patches of that seemed to be “thick”… Kind of like a callus. Either way she was super itchy and didn’t sleep. She was constantly frustrated, cranky, exhausted and in pain.
I’ve seen the scary baby eczema photos online; the horrors of prescription steroid creams and ointments. I’ve read hundreds of articles (and UGH the photos) talking about the effects they have on the skin after long term use. A baby’s skin can potentially get addicted to steroids. If not careful, you can even develop something called Red Skin Syndrome aka Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW). This means if you stop using the steroids that are weakening the skin, you’ll have a flare 10x worse than the actual Eczema.
Talk about a rock and a hard place.
I avoided using the prescription steroids our pediatrician gave us at all costs and went straight into a more… not so freaking scary approach (by the way, you don’t have to feel guilty about using steroids for baby eczema. i’ll get more into this later in the post).
In short I’ve used lotions, plants and foods, essential oils, ointments, hydro cortisone 1% in like 4 different brands, etc. Nothing worked. I’ll add a full list of all the products I’ve used during this process another time. There are so many that this list deserves its own post.
If you’re still reading, you’re probably going through something similar and you’re looking for some miracle answer that will heal you or your baby from eczema. Sorry to say, there is no cure.
“If there is one thing to be learned from Eczema it is that every child needs custom care.”
Not all children heal the same but there are a few things that a lot of the other moms I’ve talked to agree on.
Here are the top 3 natural things that helped Melanie during her flares:
Frequent Baths, lotion afterwards: For quite some time it was thought that bathing frequently was not a good option for people with eczema. But, a recent study shows that frequent baths help when you apply massive amounts of lotion or emollient afterwards. Lotions seep into the skin better after a warm bath or shower; it’s a tried and true proven fact. We use Vanicream and still have the 1 lb. tub in every corner of our house to this day.
Wearing Cotton, avoid synthetic fabrics: Stick to breathable cotton maybe even organic. Polyester knit fabrics look and feel like cotton but the breath-ability is definitely different. Luckily, most infant onesies are 100% cotton but if you have a few items that are not; put them away.
Go Swimming: I’ve noticed a dramatic decrease in eczema flares when we’ve been playing in the water all day. I’m still not sure if it’s just being in the water for a long time or the chlorine (because bleach baths are a thing in the Eczema world – look it up) but after a long day of swimming and plenty of lotion afterwards Melanie’s eczema would disappear for up to a few days. Making a bleach bath at home was not nearly as effective as going to a pool. We’ve also traveled near and far to natural mineral water resorts and hotels (super stinky water that smells like eggs) and this helped as well. We didn’t smell great, but Melanie was definitely less itchy.
We were always out swimming because it seemed to help Melanie with her eczema
Here is a list of things that didn’t really make a difference for us but there are tons of people who swear by these.
If you’d like more info go ahead and just Google any of it or ask in the comments:
Changing our detergent
Putting breast milk on the affected area
Cleaning the house and getting rid of dust, pet dander and other allergens (which means my child’s Eczema was most likely due to an internal issue not from touching something)
Changing moms diet if breastfeeding
Changing baby formula to something hypoallergenic (this is really expensive btw, but if your doctor recommends it there could be government programs that will pay for your formula, more on that another day.)
Getting a some sun
Going to the beach (sun + salt water)
Wet wrapping – Melanie’s eczema was mostly on her face so this method was a little difficult for us but I can definitely see it working.
About a thousand dollars’ worth of lotions and oils
Here is the last thing that really, TRULY helped me (warning, it’s not natural):
The best way to get rid of Eczema for a longer period of time is (drum roll) USE THE TOPICAL STEROIDS THE DOCTOR GAVE YOU. That’s right! That’s it. If Hydrocortisone 1% works for you stick with that, but if you need a stronger ointment and your pediatrician gives you that prescription, freaking use it! I’ve spent countless hours worrying and feeling guilty about using a prescription strength steroid on my baby but if you’re at the point where nothing is working, this bit of advice can save you!
By the time Melanie was 4 months I wanted to give up. She was suffering so much, I was SO F’n tired and I was desperate. I’ve tried so hard, spent so much money, read a thousand blogs from all over the world for answers with no relief for my baby. Nothing I was doing was working and so one day I dabbed a little bit of PRESCRIPTION STEROID OINTMENT FROM THE OUR PEDIATRICIAN on one side of Melanie’s cheek. Within a few hours she had clear skin. It was still a little dry but regular lotion seemed to help with that.
Now, I know you might be a little disappointed at my answer here but note this:
I didn’t go overboard with the prescription, I used as little as possible. I’m talking I-barely-put-any-on type of amount. I just want you to know that if you’ve come to the point where nothing else works, you’re not alone and you don’t have to feel guilty! You are doing the best you can for your baby. Even if it means you’re not going the 100% organic + natural route, you’re doing the best you can. You’re working your hardest. Your baby deserves relief and so do you. That being said, there IS such thing as red skin syndrome and steroid withdrawals so please PLEASE be cautious, ask your pediatrician what is the best for you and your baby. I am just a regular mom and in no way a professional in this matter. I’m only sharing what has been working for me and my kids.
Eczema is a never ending journey…
Since then, my daughter is now turning 2 next month and we regularly use Vanicream (multiple times a day and definitely after ever bath). Vanicream seems to be the only lotion that wasn’t drying out after a few hours. Since last year Melanie’s Eczema has changed. Her flares are not anywhere near as bad as they were a year ago. The location of her Eczema patches have moved to her ankles and arms from mostly on her face and chest. Her flares RARELY get to the point where I have to use steroids. She didn’t develop any steroid withdrawals and on 90% of her days she looks like she has clear skin but does itch if I forget to put on lotion multiple times a day.
My third child is now 2 months old and has eczema flares very similar to what Melanie had a year ago. In closing, I want you to know that I know how difficult this journey is. You’re not alone, things do get better and hang in there! You can do this! As a parent we are given the endurance and strength to take on all sorts of battles for our children.
If any of the above information was useful and you are interested in purchasing Vanicream please use my Amazon links provided below! By doing this I am able to receive a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you and I will be able to continue blogging and doing what I love to do! I am not associated to any companies and am reviewing a product that I actually own and love. Thank you in advance and have blessed day!
Let’s just start off with this: I love my double stroller.
Just like any other mom, I was highly considerate about purchasing a good double stroller for my little ones. In fact, I was stunned to see the large number of strollers available in the market and it was pretty challenging for me to pick the best out of the rest. However, after a little bit of research, was able to list down a couple of products based on their features. Finally, I decided to end up with the best of the lot; Baby Jogger City Select LUX Double Stroller.
First, let me emphasize the positive points I noticed about this handy double stroller.
It is easy to fold and unfold
One of the key positive points I noticed about this product is ease of use. I have seen many moms struggle a bit with the strollers when it comes to folding and unfolding. Baby Jogger City Select LUX Double Stroller, on the other hand, works perfectly. I believe its auto lock feature becomes pretty handy in order to facilitate smooth opening and closing process. NOTE: This is in fact a double stroller so it does take up a little more space in your trunk.
It is very sturdy
A very important feature I expect from my stroller is its sturdiness. No matter what fancy features all those manufactures boast, I’d never want to put my baby in a wobbling and weak stroller. Much to my delight, Baby Jogger Double Stroller comes with an exceptionally strong and sturdy structure. I think the aluminum body makes the difference; I can feel how strong it is.
Front seat can hold up to 50 pounds
I am impressed with the weight it can handle. The front seat of this Baby Jogger Double Stroller can handle up to 50 pounds and that makes me feel significantly relieved (when I put my 2-year-old in). Well, compared to UPPA Baby Stroller, Baby Jogger’s tolerance is pretty impressive; UPPA can withstand a weight of 35 pounds only.
It is a spacious stroller
The other feature I love about this product is its spaciousness in terms of storage. Baby Jogger City Select LUX Double Stroller offers enough storage space to carry all the essentials of my little one.
Despite all the impressive stuff, I have noticed a couple of negative points with this product.
It is expensive
This is a relatively expensive investment, I should say. However, as I believe, you get what you pay for. We spent about $900.00 on this item which includes the stroller itself, 2 toddler seats and adapter for our car seat. We have the Maxi-Cosi Mico AP Infant Car Seat in Bohemian Red which we didn’t spend money on because we kept it from our previous child. But if you need to purchase car a baby seat, you’ll be spending a little more than the price I mentioned above. (Gosh, babies are so darn expensive!)
It is heavy
Sturdy = Heavy. This product is heavier than most of the competitor products in the market. However, I believe it is heavy because of its sturdy construction. After all, I prefer sturdiness over lightweight if I am to make a choice (it is my personal opinion though). I consider it part of my daily arm toning workout.
Hard to maneuver
Maneuvering this stroller is slightly harder than I expected. Although this slight obstinacy doesn’t compromise the child’s safety and comfort, I prefer more convenient maneuvering. I’ve developed Carpal Tunnel in my right wrist and if I use this stroller for too long it’ll aggravate my condition, but this is what my husband is for, no? (Just Kidding).
Bottom-line, despite the downsides I mentioned, I am really happy about the overall performance and features of Baby Jogger City Select LUX Double Stroller. I’ve been recommending this to everyone who’s asked and they’ve been happy as well.
Do you have this stroller? Hate it or love it?
If any of the above information was useful and you are interested in purchasing this product please use my Amazon link provided below! By doing this I am able to receive a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you and I will be able to continue blogging and doing what I love to do! I am not associated to any companies and am reviewing a product that I actually own and love. Thank you in advance and have blessed day!