A couple of months ago, my friend and I were chatting about things we wished existed that would be a great service for moms. One of the things we talked about was a nail salon that somehow had a playground incorporated into it, where you could take your kids when you have nobody to leave them with while you go get your mani/pedi.
Lo and behold, about a week later, an ad for Pod22 showed up on my Instagram feed. It was exactly what we had been talking about. Pod22 calls itself an urban break room. It's an indoor playground facility with lots of kid friendly play structures and padded flooring. It also has a lounge area, wifi, and a nail salon. One of the things that called my attention about Pod22 is that they have supervised play. Your kids aren't just running around - they are being watched by someone else so you really can relax!
The first thing I noticed when I stepped in is how modern and open the space is. From anywhere in the space, you can see almost the entire playground area. You enter, sign a waiver, and hand your little one over to the play supervisor. In Caleb's case, he was one-on-one with her the whole time I was getting my mani/pedi. The playground area is very clean and well kept, and is visually appealing for kids and adults alike.
Once he was entertained, they led me to the nail salon, an enclosed area with a glass wall where you can see your child in the playground area. The glass is tinted from the outside, so it's not very easy for your child to notice you in there, and the attendants do a great job of keeping them away from the windows.
My manicure was lovely. My manicurist was friendly and did a really great job on my manicure and pedicure. As a matter of fact, a week later, and my manicure is still perfectly intact aside from new nail growth. The fact that I could see Caleb the whole time I was getting my manicure and pedicure was comforting, but since I could tell he was having fun, I was really able to relax. At one point I looked out the window and saw him dancing to the "Hot Dog Song" from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, which made me crack up.
As a matter of fact, he had so much fun that as soon as we sat in the car, he knocked out for his nap and slept for nearly 2 hours! That's a successful playtime to me!
Another great thing about Pod22 is that you don't necessarily have to go and get a mani/pedi while you are there. You can use supervised play and sit in the lounge area. They have great wifi, so if you have work you need to get done, like oh - say - a blog post that needs to get posted, you can take your kids to supervised play and get some work done.
They also have memberships available, which include supervised play and give discounts on services. And they offer birthday party packages, which is definitely a super option, especially if your child's birthday is in the warmer months when doing something outside is really difficult. Another plus is dedicated parking in the back of the building, which can be hard to come by for some places.
For me, the one drawback is the location - it's a little over 13 miles from home for me. That being said, there is nothing else like this in Miami, which makes it worth it for me to make my way there, even considering the distance.
I really can't begin to say enough wonderful things about this place, and I guarantee Caleb and I will be back again soon! I only wish I had come up with this idea myself! lol
So if you are in the Miami area, check them out, and let them know I sent you!
*I received free services at Pod22 in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. They also provided me with photos to include in the blog post.
This week, the blog turns ONE! Even though the archives show posts back as far as February 2015, I didn't officially publish and promote the blog until I had enough content up and was making it a point to publish entries. But anyway, I can hardly believe it. I set about on this fun little endeavor thinking that I'd probably have a few close friends and family reading it. I don't get millions of hits to the site, but I get way more than I ever imagined.
First of all, I want to thank YOU! Yes, you! Thank you for reading and commenting and reposting and coming back to read my thoughts! You are the reason why I continue to put the effort into this little corner of the world. There have been days when I've thought about giving up, and I'll get a message from one of you, or someone will mention to somebody I know that they have been reading my posts and something resonated with them.
Know that in this age of algorithms and popularity-based views on social media networks, every like, share, and comment is so meaningful. I am eternally grateful to those of you who follow along and support all these posts that come from my heart!
I also want to take a minute to thank my husband, Eddie, and Caleb, the little guy who inspired me to start this blog. They are my number one fans, and are always putting up with me taking pictures and saying stuff like, "I can probably use this for the blog." Creating content regularly is no easy feat, and they never complain about my shenanigans.
And two two more friends I want to thank, Cary over at Cary Diaz Photography for capturing these awesome first birthday themed photos for me, and Kristi at Habit Boutique for dressing me perfectly for the occasion! The dress and blouse I am wearing in these photos were provided by her boutique. The colors are perfect and the quality of them is excellent! If you've never been, check it out in the heart of Coral Gables - she has beautiful pieces!
I've learned a lot about myself and about others over the past year of blogging. Some of it good, and some of it bad. But there are three things in particular that I want to share with you, whether you are blogging, working someone else's business, running your own business, or running your family.
1. Believe in yourself. You have to be ready to put in the work, but you also have to know that whatever vision you have for yourself, it can be done. I've learned that my mind is the most powerful tool I have, and vision plus hard work equals results.
2. Stop comparing yourself. I've had to tell myself countless times to stop comparing myself to so-and-so because they have 10k or 100k followers. I haven't been at this that long, and it's a saturated market. I have a unique perspective to offer, and comparing myself to what everyone else has or doesn't have is going to take my eyes off of my end goal. Just be 100% you.
3. There is an amazing world of kindness out there, you just have to be open to the opportunity. Early in my journey, a girl named Bessy (check her blog out here) reached out to me. She invited me into a group of blogger friends that she had made and they were all so kind and supportive. It was incredible to see how they embraced me so quickly. And like those women, I have found so many who are kind and helpful. Women who have helped me to be lifted when I was down about something. Women who told me to brush off negative comments or imitators (yes, I had someone copy my blog name ::insert eye roll here::). Women who empower other women and want to see nothing more than for them to succeed. Had I not responded to Bessy's initial message, I would have missed out on this amazing group of women. I've also made some amazing virtual BFFs, who I hope to highlight for you in the coming months.
But birthdays mean presents, right?! I'm not asking you for presents, but I AM giving some goodies away! I was going to give one bigger gift, but I thought it would be more fun to have multiple winners. So each week this month, I'm going to be giving something away! I'll be giving away products I LOVE and use often so that you can benefit from them, too! So check back weekly in the month of April to see what I have for you. The giveaway will open Monday morning and will close Thursday evening. I'll announce the winner Friday morning. And I'll be doing this for four weeks!
Thanks for all the love, friends!
Giveaway #1: Fueled by Caffeine & Jesus (grubby toddler hand not included)
When I was about 6 months into this stay-at-home mom gig, I still hadn't adjusted. I was feeling like I had to do everything at home perfectly and like I had to get everything right all the time. I'm not even sure how I came across it, but I somehow happened upon The Super Mom Myth by Becky Kopitzke. Her book pointed out so many things that I was doing and stressing over that I didn't need to be! It really changed my outlook on being a mom and a wife. And I want you to experience that, so included in my first giveaway is this book, along with this adorable one of a kind mug, complete with my handwriting, made by my friends at Creative Sparkles, and a sleeve of Nespresso coffee pods. Follow the directions below to enter and win!
I received no compensation for any of these products. Clothing was provided by Habit Boutique free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.
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