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Family Time at Swissotel was the best birthday gift.


Here’s a topic I don’t often see moms talk about but one I feel needs to be addressed: gift shopping for kids is hard. First off, let’s be real: any help from the dad department is minimal. Shopping isn’t really their forte in general, so often they’re just as surprised as our children when the wrapping comes off. LOL. But the biggest challenge is my hard-wired mom brain, which never switches off, and is always thinking big picture. What will my kids remember when they’re grown up? Am I giving them enough? Am I giving them too much? If I give them the latest “it” toys, will it send the wrong message?

It’s enough to make a mom exit the toy section at Target and wander over to the wine instead.

And—allow me to kvell for a moment—my Katya: wow, what a kiddo. My girl has never been the type to demand anything. She’s full of hugs and smiles, and constantly looking out for her little brother. I would give her the world if I could, but seeing as it’s a bit difficult to wrap up, I decided to gift her the next best thing for her birthday: family time.

Excited for our staycation at kid-friendly Swissotel
Swissotel is family-friendly





I remembered our last stay at Swissotel and how kid-friendly and attentive to detail the hotel and staff were, so I was sure this would be the perfect surprise for Katya and I was so right!

From the moment we walked into our incredibly spacious suite, we were wowed by the thoughtful touches. Along with the pop-up tent and insane piles of books and games, the “Happy Birthday Katya” sign put the biggest smile on her (and my!) face. My kids were also spoiled by plenty of sweet treats that were almost too pretty to eat. And that was even before we indulged in the delicious room service!

Room service

Both kids loved the tent in our room just for them.
Swissotel’s location is phenomenal














The location is phenomenal with next-level views of the city. This is definitely the place to recommend to friends and family visiting Chicago. Even if you live here, your jaw will drop.

Leo and I woke up early on the big day to put up streamers and arrange the gifts. I will never forget the look on my precious daughter’s face when she entered the room. The morning was filled with lots of laughter and sweet moments, and Leo was having so much fun, he forgot his leg was hurting! My mom brain took in the scene, gave a contented sigh, and thought, “You got this one 100% right.”

Family snuggles

Mommy and Me time

Is there any better gift we can give our kids besides time with us?


Seriously, is there any better gift we can give our kids besides time with us? As they say, the days are long but the years are short, and somehow, holing up together for a little staycation makes me feel like I can slow down time and hold onto these moments a little more easily. I think I’ve discovered our new family tradition.

Oh, and one more note for parents—I stole away to the bar for a little me-time before heading out to Zoo-ologie, and I can attest that Swissotel makes a perfect martini. Cheers to balance and mommyhood wins!

Swissotel makes a perfect martini














Dress by Monse rented from  ByFashionaholic. Jumpsuit Hatch. My PJ suit is Maje. Katya Dress (Lola and the Boys)

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