Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Better Late Than Never

Right??? I finally had time to write about our trip to Arizona in early June. First let me say that we got really lucky with the weather. It was in the 90's the whole week (Usually it's regularly over a hundred by June.) A nice DRY 95 seems like paradise compared to 85 in Chicago!
For our first trip with little miss we were lucky enough to be invited to go with my in-laws to their timeshare in Arizona. Since it was the whole family going and we had been there before, it seemed a good safe bet for a first outing with a soon to be toddler.

I can't say enough good things about our accommodations. We stayed at the Scottsdale Camelback Resort. They are a time share property but I understand that they do take "outside" reservations as well. There are plenty of activities that we could easily have not left the property for the entire week, except for grocery shopping. They do have a nice poolside restaurant that had some yummy food but I liked being able to make our own meals. The 3 of us stayed in the smallest Villa available, which has 2 beds and 2 levels, small kitchen with fridge, stove top, microwave and dishwasher. If you are staying there with a small child, ask for the crib on the second level. For naps we were able to darken that area much better than the lower level. The crib and high chair were both supplied by the resort. They were both in excellent condition!

When we attended the Monday morning welcome breakfast the head of the activities brought a container of girl and boy toys for D to choose from. She wanted both :-) It was very nice of them to think of little things like that. We spent a good deal of time in the kiddie pool that is well covered and uses salt instead of chlorine (as does the larger pool.) Unfortunately they didn't have any loaner pool toys and no one had left any behind that week (I'm told this often happens but you obviously can't rely on it.)

There was a lot of resting on this trip. Which is a good thing. I was sad that we didn't make it to Kokopelli Winery this time. We discovered Kokopelli in 2003 when we were in Arizona on our honeymoon. We were back in 2009 and it was still delicious! Oh well there's always next time. I also heard that there is a Musical Instrument Museum in the area. If anyone has any thoughts on that I'd love to hear them. When D is a little older, if we are in the area again we will take her to Rawhide Western Town. We took two of the nephews there the last time we were in town and we all had great fun. It's not an "authentic" ghost town but they have great gun fight shows.

Mommy and daddy did take one trip without the baby girl (she was with grandma and grandpa so she didn't even notice LOL.) We went tubing at Salt River Tubing. There were 5 adults and 2 "big" kids and we managed to mostly stay together. There are some faster areas we called rapids but not even close to white water rafting. The company's age restriction is 8 yrs and up. That seems about right because they don't recommend tying tubes together. You definitely want some sort of water shoes with traction. Even with hiking sandals I struggled getting to the shore at the end point. Of course I'm a weakling so that didn't help :-) I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a little relaxing sight seeing! Just don't forget your sunscreen.

Monday, August 15, 2011

August week 3

Can you believe it’s the 3rd week of August already?!?! I know many of you are getting ready for school to start (or have already started.) But be sure to take some holiday time J The 3rd week of August brings us Air Conditioning Appreciation Week and after the July we had I know I am appreciative! And while enjoying your AC or the cooler outdoor air be sure to celebrate American Dance Week 
In Chicago the Air and Water show is coming up this weekend. Appropriately it’s also National Aviation Week. Read up on Orville Wright  Though I think my favorite might be Weird Contest week.
Today is Relaxation Day! If you can’t kick back for a whole Monday at least take a moment to put your feet up. Here are some great ideas It’s also National Failures Day, I’m not sure if that’s relaxing or not… It’s also Angel Food Cake Day. That sounds relaxing.
Happy Birthday Julia Child and Debra Messing!

August 16 is National Tell a Joke Day. Feel free to share, just keep it clean. It’s the anniversary of the Roller Coaster patent! If you haven’t gone back to school yet or still have vacation time, go ride one.
Happy Birthday James Cameron!

August 17th is National Thriftshop Day, just in time to get your back to school shopping done!
Happy Birthday Sean Penn, Belinda Carlisle, Mae West and Davy Crockett!

August 18 is Bad Poetry Day! So if you hold back the rest of the year, today is your day. Feel free to share here or perhaps send a loved one an original greeting card!
Happy  Birthday Jada Pinkett Smith and Patrick Swayze.

August 19 is Statehood Day in Hawaii. Celebrate or protest as you see fit. It’s potato day so include some in your dinner. It’s also the anniversary of the patent on the popsicle so enjoy a tasty treat for dessert.
Happy Birthday Bill Clinton Snuffleupagus, Tipper Gore, Orville Wright and Kyra Sedgwick

August 20 is National Homeless Animals Day (3rd Saturday in August.) If you can’t give one a home, make a donation to a rescue shelter, or at least thank a shelter volunteer. It’s also National Radio Day so turn up the music (or talk.) Some are celebrating Bad Hair Day today… It’s the anniversary of the invention of lemonade so have a tall glass to toast the day.
Happy Birthday Isaac Hayes and Don King

August 21 is National Spumoni Day and it’s also Sit Back and Relax Day. It’s Sunday so I think that should sum up the day!
Happy Birthday Wilt Chamberlain, Kenny Rogers and Christopher Robin!

Have A Great Week!

Monday, August 8, 2011

August week 2

It’s National Smile Week! And I’m told it doesn’t mean we have to go to the dentist to celebrate. So break out your biggest smile or make one Or since it’s also National Apple Week just cut the apple slices into smile shapes. J It’s also Elvis week (I’ll let you decide if that makes you smile or not.) Do something nice for your significant other since it’s National Resurrect Romance Week. Though I guess it’s not very romantic that I had to tell you…

Today (August 8th) is Dollar Day to commemorate the anniversary of the dollar. How about some money origami? It’s also Infinity Day so perhaps you can philosophize about the meaning of money.

August 9th is International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. offers an overview. It’s Smokey Bear’s birthday! So head over to his virtual home Also happy birthday to Betty Boop (1930.) It’s also Book Lovers Day (though some say it’s the first Saturday in August) either way try to find some time to curl up with a book. And don’t forget Rice Pudding day!

August 10th is International Biodiesel Day. Check out for more information on vegetable oil and animal fats. It’s also National S’mores Day. Did you really need an excuse to break out the marshmallows. A few seconds in the microwave will soften them just like a campfire (minus the charred coating.)

August 11th is Presidential Joke Day but you don’t get to make jokes about him. It’s his job to make the jokes… It’s also Play in the Sand Day. Anyone who knows me, knows I’ll pass on this one. How about a day at the pool? Who’s got one they’ll let me use?

August 12th is International Youth Day It’s also Middle Child Day, so embrace your inner Jan Brady.

August 13th is International Lefthanders day. So break out the green handle scissors (I can’t be the only one who remembers in grade school the lefty scissors had the green rubber handle…) It’s also Annie Oakley Day but please don’t celebrate these 2 together unless you are left handed. J And fire up the grill for Filet Mignon Day.

August 14th is World Lizard Day! Be nice to an iguana! it’s also National Creamsicle Day but don’t feed one to a lizard.

Happy Holidays and have a great week!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy August part 2!

Happy Wednesday! And also Happy Watermelon Day. Not sure how to celebrate it? Try this site Check out the “Carvings & Entertainment” section for some really creative stuff. And I can’t resist pointing out that it’s Grab Some Nuts Day. Check out for ideas on how to get more of these healthy fats in your diet. What did you think I meant?? J I love all these food holidays!

On this date in 1492 Christopher Columbus began a certain famous or infamous voyage and in 1949 The National Basketball Association was formed. No there’s no relation between those two items… I don’t think. And as the mother of a toddler I feel obligated to mention it’s Prairie Dawn’s birthday. Yes, from Sesame Street. Convenient that just a few weeks ago I had no idea who she was.

August 4

It’s U.S. Coast Guard Day! More information can be found here Or just be nice to a Coast Guard member. It’s also National Backgammon Day so here’s your excuse to pull out the old board game! Back to food, it’s Chocolate Chip day! Be happy you don’t have to chop the chocolate anymore and make some cookies! And the perfect accompaniment, Champagne Day! Supposedly it was on August 4th 1693 that Dom Perignon invented champagne. If you want something more substantial (but not healthy) you can celebrate the birthday of Kentucky Fried Chicken (not to be confused with the Colonel’s birthday.)

Don’t forget to wish President Obama a happy big 5-0!

August 5

It’s Work Like A Dog Day. I know plenty of dogs, and I’m not sure this should mean what most people think it does. J You can decide if this is related but it’s also National Underwear Day!

It’s Neal Armstrong’s birthday today. Take a moment to think about all the things our manned space missions have accomplished. It’s also the anniversary of the 1st Major League broadcast in 1921. For those of you wondering, it was the Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Philadelphia Phillies – the Pirates won.

August 6

Contrary to the school calendars, it’s the half way point of summer! Do you really need any other reason to celebrate?? Ok It’s also National Fresh Breath Day, so have something minty. Does mint chocolate count? You decide. The first Saturday in August is National Mustard Day but you probably don’t want to mix those two.

That’s all for now! Have a great week.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Welcome to August!

Yes, I know, it’s a day late. But food poisoning will make you lose a day here and there (don’t worry – NO more on that later.) I’m only sorry I missed national Raspberry Cream Pie Day. I pulled up the August scrapbook template and it was completely empty! I figured what better month to start talking about fun and lesser known holidays.

August puts us right in the middle of the astrological sign Leo and the birth stone is Peridot (green in color) or Sardonyx (a form of Onyx that is red or red striped.) The August flower is gladiolus. Can you still get those at the Farmers Market? I haven’t been in a couple of weeks so I’m not sure…

So what sore of observances does August bring us? Well to continue the things available at the farmers market trend. It’s Peach Month! For a nice little background on the peach and some yummy looking recipes go to I haven’t tried any yet but the sure look good. Feel free to send me samples of your efforts. J It’s a UK site but it looks like the measurements are in both units. And feel free to eat your experiments immediately since I also saw that it’s Eat Dessert First Month! Somewhat related is that August is Family Fun Month. So get your family and have some fun. Did you really need me to tell you that?? I know kids love to help bake but as I have a toddler, she’s not quite ready for that. So I’ll solicit your suggestions! Still hungry? Well it’s also National Catfish month and you can even request a free cook book at

I saw that it’s also Admit You’re Happy Month and Romance Awareness Month. I’ll let you decide how those should be celebrated. Of course we all know August is back to school time and fittingly it’s National Eye Exam month. But even if you’re not going back to school, take care of your peepers! August 1st also marked the beginning of Ramadan. I don’t profess to know a lot about this holiday but found this

So after all that, I’ll now remind you that it’s National Simplify your Life Week. is a great help in that respect. Calendars for the family, meal planning, shopping lists synchronized with their ipod/iphone app, etc. We started using this at our home and it makes it much easier to make those “on the way” shopping stops.

So to catch up for yesterday, Happy Birthday Spiderman, Chopsticks (the song) & MTV and of course happy Lughnasadh! Today is the anniversary of the first Income Tax (1861) as well as Dinosaurs Day and National Ice Cream Sandwich day (perhaps to finish off any ice cream left from Ice Cream Month in July.)

That’s all I have time for now. I’ll finish the week later today or tomorrow!