Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Break Boredom Busters

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! My preschooler has the entire week off, and with a newborn at home, it was very convenient to just print out lots of festive hands-on activities for the week! If you are looking to keep the kids occupied while you are cooking or entertaining, head over to grab a few Thanksgiving printables. You can print out plenty for each child!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center

Nestled in a wooded area right outside of Houston, The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center is the perfect spot for your next vacation or meeting. My husband and I had the opportunity to celebrate our ten-year wedding anniversary at The Woodlands Resort at the end of July. Coincidentally, the trip served as a "babymoon" right before the birth of our second baby! It was a perfect location for relaxing and staying cool during the heat of summer!

What drew us to The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center was the resort setting, and of course, the new lazy river! Being in my third trimester of pregnancy, the lazy river was calling my name! The fabulous waterscape features waterfalls, two water slide towers, water activities, and more. It is perfect for families and functions. There were tons of organized activities, including movies in the pool and s'mores in the evenings. 

As you can see, the lounge chairs and umbrellas lining the pools were plentiful, and the sound of the waterfall is so relaxing! Waiters will take your order from your chair, so you don't even have to get up for lunch!

When we arrived in our room, we were overjoyed to find a scrumptious cake and sparkling cider to celebrate our anniversary, and a sweet pink onesie for the new addition to our family! The cake was covered in the most delicious shaved chocolate and it was so delicious! This hospitality and attention to detail is indicative of a stay at The Woodlands Resort.

Our room was spacious and comfortable with a great balcony overlooking trees and the golf course. The view in itself was well worth the trip! Even though we were only minutes from the hustle and bustle of the big city, The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center feels like a true escape.

To top off the weekend, I enjoyed a Swedish prenatal massage in the resort spa. What a spa it was! From the moment you walk in, it's like the stress just begins melting away. From the dim lights, to the spa robes, to the fruit-infused water, it is just so peaceful. The staff is extremely friendly, calming, and professional. And the massage? It was just what I needed. I could have stayed all day!

While I was relaxing on the massage table, my husband was able to enjoy leisurely passing the time in the billiards parlor. He was able to relax in the comfy leather chairs and enjoyed the pool and shuffle board tables. He also took a walking tour of the main building and was instantly convinced that he would be making a tee time on our return visit. The Woodlands has huge wooden decks on the edge of the beautiful course leading out to well-manicured fairways and challenging sand traps. It was such a perfect day for golf!

The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center is designed to deliver nothing short of the best experiences. Whether you want to relax at the spa or play on the links, or even relax and play around the amazing pools... this property has it all. Couple the great location and the outstanding service along with such a great property and you simply couldn't ask for much more.

Disclosure: We received a complimentary weekend at The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center for purposes of this review. All opinions are our own.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Back-to-School Bestsellers and August Favorites!

I can't believe that it is already time for back-to-school... Here are our top bestselling printable units for August and more back-to-school favorites!

1. Alphabet Practice and Recognition Pack
back to school kindergarten pre-k worksheets fun activities

2. Kindergarten Math Bundle
common core back to school

3. Sight Words & Alphabet Bundle for Pre-K & Kindergarten
back to school sight words kindergarten pre-k preschool 1st teach

4. Preschool Pack for Toddlers

5. Mini-Poster Mega Pack
alphabet numbers counting colors shapes months chevron bright colors

More August Favorites:

back to school printable worksheets activities pre-k kindergarten

printable lessons math farm teachers worksheets   back to school trace cut paste practice printable worksheets pack


    back to school

back to school reduced price printables TPT

Have a great school year!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Preschool Activities for Hot Summer Days

I don't know about you, but the summer heat here in Texas is pretty excruciating, and with little ones at home, things can get pretty tricky! Instead of spending too much time in front of the TV, consider working with your preschoolers on some fun skills to prepare for Pre-K and Kindergarten! All of these printable units are available in my TPT store!

Monday, June 2, 2014

San Antonio: A Weekend Escape

At the end of May, my family of three packed up on a Friday morning and headed to fabulous San Antonio, Texas! There is so much to do in San Antonio, and we were looking forward to a three-day weekend and two luxurious nights at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa

We knew that the property was going to be nice and the experience wonderful... but we had no idea how right we were. The JW Marriott was indescribably wonderful. Words can't express how impressed we were by this grand property. Imagine driving into the Texas Hill Country, down quiet, perfectly manicured streets lined with beautiful landscaping, and arriving at a resort atop a hill, featuring limestone rock and native Texas foliage.

Then, inside the heavy doors, hearing indoor water features and feeling the spaciousness of the hotel, filled with luxurious furnishings. And then, arriving to our adjoining rooms, greeted by granite, leather, and a full-sized balcony overlooking the Hill Country. The property has a very distinct Texas feel, without overplaying the stereotypical "Texas" decor. Everything was classy and stylish, but still had an authentic Hill Country feel to it. 

Then imagine waking up to breakfast at Cibolo Moon for a gourmet breakfast buffet filled with everything imaginable, made to order. Breakfast at Cibolo Moon could easily qualify as the best breakfast you've ever had. After chatting with one of the head chefs, we learned much of the food, such as the smokey salsa he loved so much, is made on property. 

And then, slipping into your bathing suit and floating down a cool, lazy river amidst Texas sage and a host of native Texas trees and shrubbery with the warm sun on your skin. We took all of the pictures of the pool area below from our balcony. What a view! An amazing pool and lazy river, with a world class golf course behind that, and the beauty of the rolling Hill Country beyond that! Much of our time there included simply enjoying our full-size balcony and this one-of-a-kind view. 

Texas hill country San Antonio

For me, this is the definition of relaxation. The definition of a vacation. Time stands still, and it is perfection. These feelings of peacefulness are peppered with feelings of joy as I share these moments with my husband and daughter, who are equally as content. Then seeing my daughter ride her first water slide and jump into the water into her daddy's arms. Then, enjoying a poolside picnic at the Rivertop Grill with a gentle breeze blowing.

The JW Marriott has thought of everything. No detail is overlooked, from the rooms, to the food, to the grounds, to the amenities. There are 36 holes of golf, a spa, and organized activities for the children including nature labs, stargazing through a telescope, crafts, and ballerina princess parties. There are games like ping-pong and corn hole scattered around the property that you can play for 2 minutes or 2 hours. The pool staff even provides poolside service so you never have to leave your lounge chair. There's an arcade, a zero-entry pool that makes for a great splash area for the littlest toddlers, and life-jackets available for kids. 

Just to put it into perspective, this hotel has been named one of the Top 500 hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure Magazine. It is easy to see why. Once you're here, you simply don't want to leave. The JW Marriott has gained lifelong patronage from our family. Everything is so meticulously integrated into the design and landscape, to further enhance the aesthetics of the property. It rivals the elegance of the Bellagio in Las Vegas, but with a Texas twist. 

And as the day starts cooling off and the sun begins to set, you can meet at the fire pit for complimentary s'mores--the perfect way to end the day. Taking time to wander the property gives you the opportunity to discover a chess board tucked away here, beautiful bronze cowboy sculpture there, or all the beautiful and huge outdoor fireplaces that have comfy Adirondack chairs around them and the beautiful Texas night sky above them. Perfect for conversations with family and friends. 

It's easy to capture the beauty of the property and to describe the joy of the amenities, but there was one more thing that struck us during our time there--the staff. Every staff member we came in contact with was incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to please. My husband even said that when he went to check us in, the staff actually came out from behind the desk to welcome him to the property! Amazing attention to detail and a very sharp attention to heightening the customer experience.

The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa is a world class property with world class staff. 

Sea World San Antonio

Our daughter had seen the Sea World commercials on television, and with her fascination with ocean animals, we were really excited to be able to take her to Sea World San Antonio. I grew up going there and really loved it as a kid! Boy, has Sea World changed since then! There are now tons of great rides and a huge play area for childen, not to mention a brand new water park. 

Sea World has palm trees everywhere, and being pregnant, I really appreciated the comfortable Adirondack chairs under the shade of umbrellas throughout the park. 

The Sesame Street Bay of Play is a genius idea with a giant splash pad and play area for kids, complete with climbing structures and kiddie rides. This was probably our daughter's favorite part!

Azul, the show with beluga whales and dolphins, features amazing divers and acrobatics--our daughter was absolutely mesmerized! Several elements actually reminded us of the Cirque du Soleil "O" show in Las Vegas. 

We also enjoyed visiting the aquariums and the penguin house on site. For older kids and adults, there are several thrill rides on property including roller coasters and flume rides. Everyone should visit Sea World San Antonio at least once!

Maria Mia Mexican Bistro on the River Walk 

On Sunday, before we headed out of town, we stopped downtown at the Riverwalk to enjoy lunch at Maria Mia Mexican Bistro. With indoor and outdoor seating, you can enjoy a meal by the river for a fun San Antonio experience. This restaurant is a must-visit while in San Antonio!

Mexican food restaurant Maria Mia

At the intersection of the River Walk and Commerce Street, you’ll find that it’s easily accessible from the street level with ample parking or directly off of the River Walk. It’s also immediately beside where tickets are sold and the boats depart from for the famous River Walk cruises.

The atmosphere has a definite touch of class with it’s beautiful wrought iron chandeliers alongside its beautiful indoor water feature.

If you have a larger group or simply want privacy, Maria Mia has a great upstairs space that overlooks the rest of the restaurant.

My husband ordered the Pechuga Isabella, which has won the Taste of the River award for the best dish on the Riverwalk. Honestly, this is one of the most delicious meals you will ever order.

The menu offers so many great appetizers, drinks, entrees, and desserts. Whether you’d like to take a break from the heat and sit inside or you prefer the open-air dining you’ll find that the wait staff and the food are tremendous.

Thank you so much to our wonderful hosts: JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, Maria Mia Mexican Bistro, Sea World San Antonio, and the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. I also want to thank my husband for taking the photographs in this post.