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We ate our way through Scottsdale this weekend.  Some of our favorites: True Food Kitchen (pictured above), Arcadia Farms (most amazing breakfast), La Grande Orange, and Cowboy Ciao.

Some reader favorites that I need to try: Lolo’s Chicken and Waffles, Mastro’s City Hall, and Joe’s Farm and Grill.

My husband and I are getting ready for a trip sans baby!  Here are some tips to make your time away easy on your kids and care-takers.

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Tip #1: Make a book that explains to your kids where you are going, where they are going, who they will be with, the fun things they will get to do, and when you will be back.  It helps the kids to know what to expect and also reassures them that you are coming back.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something simple that they can read for a week or two before you leave.

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Tip #2: Whether you are leaving your kids with a nanny or relative, leave a play by play schedule so that things aren’t overwhelming for the care taker.  It is also a good idea to leave grocery money, fun money, and a few gift cards to local attractions.  Make it fun for your kids…if they’re having fun you will be able to enjoy your time away too!

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Tip #3: Send snacks and food with the babysitter.  Feeding a kid is time consuming, so stock up on some favorites to make it easier on the sitter.  If you have a picky eater or a child with allergies, make sure you make a list of meal ideas.  It would also be nice to have meals ready to go in the freezer.

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Tip #4: Wrapped surprises for each day that you are gone.  Simple things like bubbles, coloring books, dollar store toys, etc.  It gives the kids something to look forward to.  Another fun idea would be to wrap a book up for each day.  Don’t forget the kids they will be staying with (if you are sending them to a relative or friend’s home).

 

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Davis loves exploring with his fine and large motor skills lately.  He loves all things stacking, sorting, and repetition.  This Alex Toys “Farm On A String” toy was a big hit on the plane.  They are darling wooden animal beads that you lace onto a long string.  It was $11 on Amazon.

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I bought these at the Dollar Store.  Davis loved sticking them on the window and peeling them off…over and over and over again.  These coupled with him pulling the shade up and down kept him entertained for about an hour, which was a small miracle.

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The Boogie Board is awesome!  It is a tablet with and LCD Screen that you write on (think new age Magnadoodle).  It kept my 3 year old niece entertained for hours!  This photo was taken in the 15th hour of their 16 hour road trip.  …And maybe her Uncles fought over who could play with it once she arrived.  It is definitely a toy that gets played with.  They are about $25 on Amazon.

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I’m the world’s biggest advocate for Kate Spade Diaper bags.  I talk all of my friends into buying them.  They are perfect for travel.  They carry a ton and the built in stroller clips are great for clipping to luggage carts, shopping carts, and of course strollers.  This bag has been used everyday for a year – including over 9 vacations.  My bag pictured is the “Stevie” style.  Here is the secret though, Kate Spade has huge clearance sales every few months where they will sell a few baby bag styles for up to 75% off.  Go to their site and sign up for their emails.