Monday, June 29, 2015

Weekend Recap: Need to work on my listening face

Hey!! Happy Monday? 
Yes, yes happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! 

We took this weekend to unwind and relax, I mean really, we did absolutely nothing of importance other than spend time together...and it was perfect. 

By Sunday morning Sophia was getting stir crazy and kept asking to go somewhere. Angelo needed to go get fitted at the tux shop for a wedding he's in, so we headed to the mall. 

Turns out the tux shop isn't even inside the mall! 
So after an hour of this...

...we left the mall with a stroller looking like this!
Two walking balloons, two build-a-bears, and two pairs of crocs with princess inserts.

And that my friends is what happens when you bring the kids to the mall with no purpose other than to kill time. 

After the kids hustled us for all we had in our pockets, we had a family lunch at Cheesecake Factory. We haven't been in a long time, and there menu is outrageously huge that you'd bound to find something you like, right? 
What do you usually get at The Cheesecake Factory? I like their Thai Lettuce wraps. 

Sophia is into taking pictures right now, so she snapped a few of of me and Angelo. 
This 2nd picture is hilarious because I have no idea why we are making those faces to the lady next to us. All I remember is an enjoyable conversation, but you wouldn't conclude that after looking at this picture. LOL

This summer Sunday night was ended on a fresh note with a summer salad. 
Arugula and Spinach with Feta cheese, almonds, Peaches, and Mint Vinaigrette. It was delicious!
Recipe for the dressing from Eating Well Magazine. (Find here)

This afternoon we are packing up and heading to a beach house for an entire week! 

I plan on bringing my computer and blogging/instagraming some from there, so see you tomorrow, from the sandy shores!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Offspring in the Office

Back in May, I read about Rachel Zoe opening an office nursery. I used to watch The Rachel Zoe Project on E Network and would see her son running around the office, being a part of meetings, etc, so her opening a nursery in her office wasn't shocking to me. It fit her perfectly. 

I can relate to Rachel Zoe, not with the glitz and glam of being a celebrity stylist and fashion designer (one can dream...), but with bringing kids to the office.

I'm kind of a hybrid of a Stay-at-Home-Mom (SAHM), working mom, and Working-At-Home-Mom (WAHM). **FYI: I hate the phrase and label "working mom" because I think all moms are working...24/7. No arguments. 

My days are filled with school drop offs and pick ups, office work, bank runs, grocery runs, business meetings, and playdates. Almost everything I do, I do it with a kid in tow. 

I'm a Working-At-The-Office-Mom some days, a SAHM other days, but always a working mom. 

I'm extremely lucky to have an office all to myself, away from our call center, so I can bring Penelope to the office with me and work, without disrupting the entire office. 

Penelope has become used to the working routine. She goes to the bank with me, she comes to home closings with me, and she runs around the office while I try to have meetings. When Sophia doesn't have school or summer camp, she also tags along. It can be a zoo sometimes. 
It's not easy and there are thousands of reason why companies don't let their employees bring their kids to work. Trust me, I live through those reasons. 

But, like with everything else, you get in a routine and make it work. 

One thing that makes my situation work for me is that Penelope sleeps. Penelope will sleep almost every time we come to the office, for at least an hour or two (or three)! Even though this sleep occurs on top of me, trapping me in my chair, it actually forces me to get work done. See the positive in this?

Scenes from my work:

My computer: When Penelope isn't wondering around the office interrupting someone else's work day, she is on my lap watching dog/cat videos or Elmo. I'm lucky my monitor is huge so a split screen doesn't bother me much. Two monitors would probably work even better!

Penelope enjoying her afternoon nap...on my lap. Because where else is she supposed to sleep in the office? We have a couch, but she prefers the boppy and my lap. See my hand? It's stuck there and I get to type and move the computer mouse with one hand. #talent

My desk: Between my drinks and kid drinks, my desk is a beverage cart. Along with the liquids, there are books, scrap paper, and toys scattered around. Kind of like my house but all confined to my 6x3 desk.

My helper: When I'm reconciling the bank statements, Nelpe likes to go highlighter cray and mess up help me make the task go slower faster.

While I don't think kids can be welcomed into all offices (some are too dangerous and not safe), I think businesses who are opening office nurserys and allowing moms to bring their babies to work are changing lives. Even if you say "no way!", it's the fact that there is still the option. 

It doesn't work for everyone, but it works for me. 

What are your thoughts about bringing kids to work? 


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Becoming 4: 10 things you will experience with Baby #2

When I got pregnant with Penelope, so many crazy emotions went through me the entire 9 months of that pregnancy.

I cried about loving another child other than Sophia. I cried about not being able to give Sophia all my attention. I cried while everyone sang happy birthday to Sophia at her 2nd birthday. I cried listening to country songs. I cried at my best friend’s bridal shower. If I was alone there was a good chance I was crying about something. And that’s totally not me.

Then someone told me something: the best gift you can give your child is a sibling.
And I thought about it. I thought about my childhood with my siblings.
And just like that, all was good.

Well, Not all good. Those emotions…that's just the beginning. Penelope hadn't even arrived yet.

The first month was hard and things got harder when Sophia was out of school for holiday breaks. Breastfeeding a baby and having your other baby asking you for things every 5 seconds is not fun. You'll feel like you are literally being pulled in two opposite directions.

You start to realize that letting your newborn cry for a few extra minutes is a lot easier than dealing with a 2 year old's temper tantrum. If both kids are crying, deal with the toddler first. They will be the quick fix (food, drink, getting a book off a shelf, etc), while the newborn baby will need more time.

Your 1st child may do things to get your attention. They may revert back to some old habits or become more sensitive to things. They will start asking for things that the baby has. "Where are my smashed up avocados? Where is my bib? Where are my new shoes/hat/pants/shirt? Where is my bottle/boob/pacifier? Why don’t I wear diapers anymore?”

10 things you will experience with Baby #2:

1.  You’ll wonder why you ever thought having one child was difficult. Going to the grocery store with one child will feel like a breeze. Getting one child in a car seat will feel like the easiest task in the world. Getting everyone ready to leave the house will take forever! Everything you did with your first, double it. Because you will be doing all those things with two humans…plus yourself, so make it three humans.

2. Laundry increase: the amount of dirty clothes that appear in the laundry basket is something sort of a magic trick. I don't know how, when, why, or where all these clothes come from, but I do know some are filled with dirt and paint and others are filled with baby poop, throw up, and sweet potato.

3. Disease control. Your first baby was sniffle and sneeze free for an entire year. Your second baby will most likely get whatever your preschooler brings home from school. Sophia was almost never sick. Penelope was in the hospital with RSV at day 10 of life.

4. The feeling of being outnumbered. Unless you have nanny on hand (let’s not kid ourselves), you’re going to think REAL hard about how to be two places at once. How do you feed the baby AND make a peanut butter sandwich for your toddler? How do you get baby to sleep with toddler trying to give them kisses every 18 seconds? You’ll figure it out.

5. You will dread the day your second baby becomes mobile. With you first, you encouraged and praised them when they started walking. With your second you will pray for inspector gadget arms when you have two running in opposite directions. Cherish those short few months when all baby does is sleep, eat, and poop. Cherish.Them.

6. Baby proofing the house will look like a joke. Your second baby isn't interested in those light sockets you forgot to cover; they're more interested in learning how to climb up the couch, belly flop to the ground, nearly knocking out their teeth....exactly how their sibling just showed them. 

7. Wardrobe mishaps: First baby had a wardrobe that rivaled Rachel Zoe’s. Every outfit had matching accessories and shoes.  You’re second child will probably be shoeless half the time, wearing the same 5 outfits that rotate out the laundry, because that’s the easiest solution on a busy morning.

8. Leaving the house: with your first child you packed up your whole house (felt like it) when you made a trip. With number two, you know you only need two things: diapers and wipes. You'll have a baby in one arm while holding your others child's hand. You want to carry an additional 10 lbs worth of stuff you don't need? Nope.

9. Fighting. Oh the joy of innocent sibling fighting. It’ll happen, probably sooner than expected.

10. Totally new things. You think you experienced it all with baby #1. Birthing horror stories, poop horror stories, laugh so hard you peed yourself stories.Then things happen with baby #2 and you'll think "Well that's a first..."

While the differences will be innumerable, some things will be exactly the same. Those "I don't want to be put down" moments when you think your arm will fall off at any moment. Those emotions when you feel like everything is a mess and you want to crawl in a hole and come out when your kids go to bed. That feeling of pure amazement when you look at your new baby. That feeling of uncontrollable love when you think your heart is literally bursting. All the feels. If you felt them with your first, they will come back. Double in size. 

All children, no matter which numerical order they come in, are blessings.
They are all different and they are all the same.

Time goes by fast and you are now an old timer telling all those first time moms how fast it does. 


Monday, June 22, 2015

Weekend Recap: Father's Day Weekend

Hello & Happy Monday!! 

I hope everyone had a great weekend! 
It was Father's Day weekend so we gladly did whatever Angelo wanted most of the weekend. :)

Friday night we went to watch him play soccer. Sophia kept wanting to go "play with daddy" and Nelpe was having fun dangerously going up and down the bleachers. 

Saturday afternoon Sophia had her dance recital! It was at a local high school and the AC was off the entire time. At the dress rehearsal on Thursday the AC was off when we arrived, but got turned on by the county 30 minutes later. I kept hoping that was the case on Saturday, but it NEVER came on. We're talking over 200 people (guess) crowded in a high school auditorium with no AC for a good 3 hours. 
We all smiled through our sweaty lips and watched all the ballerinas perform. They did great and I'm so mad I didn't record any of it on my phone. They told us no recording at the beginning, but does anyone else REALLY listen? No, because other parents were uploading videos on Facebook afterwards.  

Part of Sophia's cheer squad!

Penelope was such a trooper and did great the entire time! Hot, sweaty, and still wanting to pose for pictures. 

My only pictures from the recital were afterwards when we got out of that hot box auditorium. Sophia was all smiles! She's the cutest :)

When we got home from the recital, both girls feel asleep for a few hours. Angelo & I took advantage and asked my parents to watch them while we ran out and enjoyed one of the last days of Tampa Restaurant Week. (Post on that coming soon)

Sunday morning we woke up early, put on our running shoes, and headed to Ulele for Richard's Father's Day Family Walk/Jog

Angelo was the fastest dad with a stroller! When he crossed the finish line, a lady said "Congrats! You're the first stroller to finish!" So he has the unofficial 1st place bragging rights. :)

Sunday afternoon was spent with the family playing in the pool and cooking out. I didn't get any pictures of the food spread, so did it really happen?!
We enjoyed gourmet burgers, sweet potato fries, rosemary potatoes, and a Greek artichoke salad. Everything was delicious and the Father's Day Weekend was a success!!

How did you spend your weekend?


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Get Active This Father's Day!

Fathers Day is THIS Sunday! You know what else is this Sunday? Richard's Father's Day Family Walk/Jog!

I am beyond grateful for my father and the father of my children. Two great men in my life.

I am thankful for numerous things my father has given me (one being LIFE), but I'm gonna talk about one thing in particular. 

I'm thankful that my father lead me to an active lifestyle. I was a soccer player, dancer, and cheerleader growing up. Being active was the norm, always outside playing tag, soccer, or hide and seek. I don't remember many days sitting inside, I remember A LOT of days being outside. I learned how to ride a bike at 3 years old, we climbed around trees in our secret backyard "fort", and we did crazy dangerous things like tie plant dollys onto bikes and get pulled around on them. Many scraps and bruises...I have the scars to prove of these happenings. 

I'm sure many of your childhoods looked the same. Today is a totally different age, and it's important to lead our kids outside, into the sun, to explore and get scraps and bruises!

Once I had kids of my own, I realized that a child will follow your example and actions when they are young. Raising active healthy kids is what I strive for in life! 

One way of showing our kid's what a healthy lifestyle looks like is taking them on runs with us. And this Sunday, on Father's Day, we are having the whole family participate in a walk/jog together! It's a great way to add activity in the day before we all pig out on yummy food (all daddy's favorites)! 

The second annual “Richard’s Father’s Day Family Walk/Jog” at 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 21st  at Ulele restaurant in Tampa Heights. 

100% of the proceeds will benefit the Advanced Prostate Cancer Collaboration (APCC) at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa! 

There is an option of a 1 mile or 5k course, which both start and finish at Ulele, one of my ultimate favorites! 

Come out and join us! Register online OR come early and register Sunday before the race!

Happy Father's Day to all amazing dads!


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Balsamic Pot Roast Recipe

Good morning and Happy Hump Day!

I am in the middle of trying to get all my recipes available to you on one page. It's a task that I didn't initially expect or think about doing, but when someone texts you asking where they can find all your recipes, you get a fire lit under your bottom to get it done. 

If this world was a perfect place, I would do at least one crock-pot recipe a week.
I love crock-pot meals because they usually make enough for left over lunches and I love the smell of dinner being ready when I get home! I don't know why I don't do them more often.Well, actually I do know... It takes planning and sometimes I don't have the time to do it before walking out the door in the morning. BUT not having to cook a meal when you get home from work is heaven. 

This recipe is now a family favorite, as everyone, kids included, ate it! That's when  you know its a winner.
I served the pot roast over a bed of brown & red rice with chopped sauteed kale. You can serve it over anything your family likes. 

Balsamic Pot Roast 

What you’ll need:
1 large onion, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped
3 carrots, peeled & chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp EVOO
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup beef or chicken broth
2 (14.5oz) cans of garlic diced tomatoes, drained
3 lb boneless beef chuck (organic, grass-fed preferred)
Salt & Pepper
FlavorGod Garlic Lovers Seasoning, or Garlic Powder

What you do:
Place carrots, onion, potatoes, and garlic in the crockpot
Pour in one (1) can of diced tomatoes.
In a separate bowl combine the EVOO, vinegar, and broth and set aside.
Season meat with salt, pepper, and garlic seasoning.
Place seasoned meat on top of vegetables in crockpot.
Pour in other can of diced tomatoes and EVOO mixture over meat.
Cook on low for minimum of 8 hours.
When ready to serve, ladle over a bed of brown rice & sautéed kale OR Enjoy by itself.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Life Updates


What's Been Going On?

am only making excuses for the blog post cutbacks the past couple weeks, but I find it hard to find stuff to write about after writing about vacation for an entire week

The notes app in my phone is FILLED with half finished blog posts. I just need a bucket of coffee and some alone time to get some finished and published for your pleasure. 

I'm still here...promise! I have committed myself to cooking more the next two weeks, because another week of vacation is on the horizon. More like a STAY-CATION, but still a vacation none-the-less.

So here are some updates on life. 
Our weekend looked like this:
Friday night was a rainy night. Angelo had a soccer game and we stayed home and made delicious Strawberry PoppySeed salad. Penelope couldn't keep her hands off the pecans! My kind of gal. 

Saturday we went to Busch Gardens, where we talked to the King of the jungle for a little while. We went early in the morning, when the animals are hungry, and it was fun watching them chase the birds. 

Penelope's elbow got dislocated and a quick (and expensive) trip to the ER happened on Sunday. All is well, and we spent the rest of Sunday feasting at my brother's house. 

Other things going on:

1. The Tampa Bay Lightning LOST the Stanley Cup. I went back and forth with the excitement during these Championship game. I'm not a true hockey fan over here, just rooting for the home team. I don't understand why the Stanley Cup and NBA Finals are going on at the same time. It's never ending sports at the house right now and I'm tired of Angelo complaining about not getting enough sleep. :)

2. I am signing up for my first Sprint Triathlon! I am beyond excited and kind of nervous for this but it's been on my bucket-list for a long time! Now all I need to do it work on my swimming skills because I don't think the doggy paddle will get me very far.

3. Sophia started summer camp yesterday and summer doesn't feel like summer anymore. She's only going for a couple weeks, but it's definitely a whole different ball game when she's at camp. 

5. Janet Jackson is coming to Tampa!  and many other cities to promote her 1st album in seven years!! 

What are some things going on in your life right now?


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Being Active While You Travel

Happy Thursday to you! 

This week has zoomed by, probably because I feel like I'm still trying to get back in the normal routine and then the weekend pops up and it's like "OK, time to relax again!" 

Along with the normal stuff after vacation: laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc, etc. I have tried to get back into my workout routine. And it hasn't been easy. 

Before I leave on vacation (especially one where you'll be in a bathing suit almost 24/7), Iam determined to eat healthy and workout. I'm kind of working out specifically for that vacation in a way. It's a little goal in my head.

Now that vacation has come and gone, that determination might dwindle down to an empty tank. Although summer time has just started and I know I'll be in a bathing suit at least once a week for the next 12 weeks, I still have that after-vacation slump. 
Am I alone on this? 

Question: Are you one to workout on vacation or totally throw working out out the window and focus on 100% relaxation and/or eating all.the.foods.?

I'm kind of in-between while Angelo is the opposite. He wants to work out everyday, while I'd rather do something adventurous on vacation in place of a workout. Playing in the pool all day with the kids = my workout for the day. 

You see, during a normal week I'm constantly trying to fit a workout in. Not to the point that I'm hard on myself, it's just the fact that working out makes me feel good. But, when I'm on vacation it's nice to not have to think about it sometimes. 

While we were packing for Jamaica, I included 2 workout outfits and told Angelo, we should go running on the beach at least twice. 

Did this running on the beach happen? IT DID! But, instead of the normal running that I was thinking, we did sets of sprints, suicides, push ups, and mountain climbers. A beach circuit right there on the beach while the girls played in the sand. Sophia even joined in and did some sprints with us. Family bonding at it's finest... :)

One of the things I know I don't want to do while on vacation is visit the resort gym. It's just not on my to-do list...ever. 

Five Tips for Being Active While You Travel

1. Tabata circuits in your hotel room. 
Get the Tabata Timer app and do your thing. I usually pick 4 workouts and do 4 rounds.
Round 1: High Knees & Jumping Jacks. 
Round 2: Push ups & Burpees. 
Repeat Rounds.
You can do this before the kids wake up in the morning, while they take a nap, or when they're just playing around in the hotel room. 

2. Plan to do a hike or walking tour as an excursion. Find an excursion that fits your fitness level. Don't do something you know will be too exhausting and strenuous. You want to enjoy it! 

3. Be adventurous. Rent a kayak, bike, or paddle board. Many places will offer lessons if you need them. 

4. Use what you have. If you're on a beach, do some beach sprints. If your in the city, find a playground where your kids can play while you do some pull ups on the monkey bars. I you're in the pool, do some water lunges, or dolphin kicks like holding onto pool wall. If you have some time to spare and you're just hanging out in the hotel room, turn on some music and have a dance party! You can literally workout anywhere...on anything. Be creative and make it fun. 

5. Don't be hard on yourself. Just remember that you're on vacation so you probably won't get in your normally routine exercises. If you get in 30-50% of what you usually do at home, consider that amazing!

I know working out isn't a #1 priority while on vacation, but if you're like me and working out makes you feel good, you'll want be active where ever you are!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Jamaica Part 2: Venturing Outside the Resort

Morning! How did you like Part 1 of our Jamaican adventures? 

On to the rest of the adventures...

We ventured outside the resort only two times this trip. I wanted the girl's to be able to get in as much pool and beach time as they wanted, but also wanted them to experience some of Jamaica's natural offerings. 

Thursday afternoon we traveled outside the resort to a place called Lobster Daves, which is located by MargaritaVille in Ocho Rios. It's $20 per person and all you can eat lobster, fish, and sides. We brought all the beverages from our hotel room fridge, so we walked up to Lobster Daves with backpacks full of Red Stripe.
I was told these are called Chicken lobsters. They are smaller in size to what I'm used to seeing, but taste delicious! The sauce they put on top was also amazing. 

Fried fish. I didn't eat this but everyone else did and raved about it. 

Sides included rice and peas, cucumber and tomato salad, and this platter of fried goodness. Sweet bead, plantains, and fried bammy (Jamaican bread)

There was enough food for everyone to eat plus probably 10 more people. We ate until we couldn't possibly fit another thing in our mouth. 

All around Lobster Dave's are small shop vendors. This had pros and cons. The pro was that they entertained the kids. The con was that entertainment had a price. We walked away with full tummies, 5 necklaces, and 2 bracelets. After our cash ran out, one guy wanted us to trade Angelo's Oakley sunglasses for a $2 necklace...fair?

After stuffing ourselves (that was a reoccurring situation on this trip) we started the journey to the Blue Hole. We had a tour guide/friend in the van with us to take the ride. If we didn't, we probably would of never made it. 

If you ask for directions in Jamaica expect for it to sound something like this:

Things heard during the car ride to the Blue Hole:
"There's a pot hole, just go to the right." 
"Take a left after this bush"
"Go up the hill, down, then back up"
"Don't worry, that dog/goat will move...keep going"
"Don't stop here, this isn't the blue hole, they just want to you think it is.."  - What does that even mean?!

*TIP* Take a tour guide (or someone who knows anything about Jamaica) with you every time you leave the resort area.

After an anxiety attack and reviving myself to life, we made it to the Island Gully Falls which is a less touristy part of the Blue Holes. We had our guides, Julian and Tony, who colored me beyond impressed! They were SO amazing with all the kids, and fearless climbing trees, WALKING up and down the waterfall, bouncing around the falls like basketballs. We were all wide eyed just watching them do their thing. Along with that entertainment, we all got to jump and swing off the falls too. The water and scenery was beautiful. Highly recommend this excursion!

Our group! Can you picture us all shoved in a van rolling up a mountain? That happened...

Girl power
The falls

Beautiful tropical plants surrounding us

The last of the "blue holes" where we swam around. 

That's all the outside excursions we did as a family, besides going to a local grocery store to get jerk seasoning and Appleton Rum. #Essentials

Others in the group went to Duns River Falls on Saturday. Duns River Falls is another excursion were you climb up a waterfall. We did Duns River five years ago and I highly recommend it if you've never been. 

Picture from the website

The rest of the vacation was spent at the bar..I mean pool. Well there are bars in the pools so same thing really. :)

I hope you enjoyed my Jamaican Vacation Recap posts! 


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Jamaica Part 1: The Resort Life

Hey there sunshine!

We are officially back from our short but sweet Jamaican vacation! This post will be anything but short, although certainly sweet!! 

Life's hustle and bustle was put on pause for 5 days while we had no worries in Jamaica. I mean worries. Everything in Jamaica is "Whatcha need Princess?" followed by a "Yeah mon" and "No problem!" You might feel like Kate Middleton for a couple days with all those Princess words being thrown around. :)

Usually when we go out of town, I research, plan, and research some more. I want to know where the best places to eat are and the best kept secrets of the towns. I want to know where the locals go, because those are the best places, right?

When we go to Jamaica, I am free from all that. This was our second time traveling to Jamaica. Both times we were accompanied by great family friends, Mike & Karina, who grew up in Jamaica, have many friends there, and are friendly with the locals. They are in-the-know when it comes to anything Jamaica = Total relaxation for me! 

The first time we went was five years ago, before kids, and what a difference a vacation is with kids! While the vacations were similar (same hotel...), they are almost completely different. 

To say we had a great time would be an understatement. The smiles and pure excitement on my kids faces every day was incredible. It's what makes my world go round.

So let's begin!
Here's how our trip went:

Wednesday morning we woke up at 4:30 a.m to make the drive to Orlando. Our plane was at 10:15 a.m. and we landed in Montego Bay around noon. The girl's were wonderful on the plane ride. Penelope slept almost the entire flight, and Sophia was so busy enjoying everything to even make a peep, except to ask for more juice. 

Once we arrived to Montego Bay and went through customs, we rented a van and made the trek to Ocho Rios (about 70 minutes from Monetgo Bay airport).

On our way to Ocho Rios we stopped at a place called Scotchy's where we picked up jerk chicken, pork, festivals (fried bread), and chicken vegetable soup. A wonderful and enticing welcome to Jamaica!

Almost to the hotel, Mike wanted to buy some pineapples from a road side vendor. I won't even tell you now much the Pineapples were but Mike said "no worries, these are the best pineapples you'll ever taste in your life." He was right. He had the waiters at the resort cut a pineapple for us at each dinner and these pineapples were so sweet and delicious. I'll never look at pineapple the same way again. Step your pineapple game up Publix. 

We made it to the hotel, pineapples in hand & on the shirt, and checked into our slice of paradise.

We stay at the Riu Ocho Rios. It's an All-Inclusive hotel very close to Dunns River and all the shops of Ocho Rios. I've only stayed in one other all-inclusive in Mexico (honeymoon trip), so don't have much to compare it to. I know there are tons of all-inclusive resorts, some adult only.

If there is one thing I love about the Riu resort, it is how kid-friendly it is. There are so many activities going on for both us and the kids. They have a kid's club with playground, nightly kid's shows at 7 p.m., and the food buffets have almost everything imaginable, so no worries if you have a picky eater! 

There are two sides to this Riu resort. The adult-only pool on one side and a kid friendly pool on the other. Obviously we stayed on the kid-friendly side, and not only is it kid-friendly, it's the FUN side. It's where the Riu Entertainment team is, so you have water volleyball, water polo, water aerobics, dancing, singing, bars, in-water lounge chairs, and a beach entry for kids. Sign me up! 

Sophia & Nelpe were 100% interested in the pools, beach, and banana smoothies! 

Penelope would like to tell you all about the fresh banana smoothies she enjoyed daily. 
Sophia's swimming got better each day. She is my little fishy and NEVER wanted to leave the pool.
She rested only for those banana smoothies!

Besides hanging around swimming and playing on the beach, we ate. And by golly miss molly, we ate! 

The Food:

Fresh fruit & Juice Bar every morning

Jerk Chicken buffet for lunch. This is usually done out on the beach at a place called Jerk Hut, but since the weather wasn't ideal when we got there, it was brought onto the patio. 


I didn't get pictures of the regular lunch buffets, dinner buffets, 24 hour pizza/pasta buffets, or all the other snacks they have out for you to eat whenever your heart desires. You will never be hungry while you stay there. If anything, you may actually get tired of eating so much! It's possible... :)

There is so much to do at Riu Ocho Rios, we honestly didn't even do it all! Along with everything in this post, they have FREE kayak, sailboat, paddle boat, and wind kite surfing rentals. I saw stand up paddle boards and got so excited to do it! It turns out they were from the resort next door. Hopefully they get some at Riu for next time! (Anyone in Jamaica reading this?!)

We didn't get to enjoy any spa treatments while we were there. If you want a massage by the pool, on the beach, or in the spa, you got it! Sophia got her first massage by the pool! A three year old enjoying a back, neck, and hand massage sitting there at the pool!! {Heaven}

They have a small casino with slot machines and a sports bar which we unfortunately spent some time in. :) Why were there so many "important" sports games going on this past week?! Basketball, Hockey, never ends.   :)

I'm sure I'm missing SOMETHING about our fabulous time at Riu Ocho Rios. Writing this makes me want to hop on a plane and go back. It's truly an amazing vacation spot!

Check in tomorrow for Part 2 of our Jamaican Vacation: Outside the Resort!