Falling in love with Pinetop, Arizona

Pinetop, Arizona does not disappoint! Especially in the fall. Last weekend we took our kids to Pinetop to enjoy cooler temps, the golden leaves and to get a little R&R. The kids loved touring the Pinetop-Lakeside Fire Station, riding their bikes around the neighborhood and roasting s’mores by the fire. We are so lucky that we can drive 3 hours east of Phoenix and find fall!

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

Believe it or not, it was Nolan’s first time seeing golden leaves all over the ground. Every time Kelsey would throw leaves into the air, Nolan would gasp, “Ahhhhhh!” as they came crashing to the ground. He was in awe and I can’t say that I blame him. It was beautiful.

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

Notice anything? She’s missing her third bottom tooth! She’s only lost the bottom row of teeth so far, which I love because I get so emotional when those things come out. I know, I know … it’s a mom thing.

phoenix-mom-blogger

Nolan is twinning with his dad. Morning walks called for jackets and we were more than willing to comply .

phoenix-mom-blogger

phoenix-mom-blogger

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

Morning walks around our cabin lead to moments like this where I just stop, stare and thank my lucky stars for kids like this.

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

Touring the fire station and getting to crawl into the firetruck was the highlight of the trip for the kids. A huge thank you to the Pinetop-Lakeside Fire Department for all they do for the community and for opening their ‘home’ to our kids. They provided hot dogs, burgers, snacks, fire prevention educational tips, a bounce house and lots of goodies for the kids. We had a blast!

phoenix-mom-blogger

phoenix-mom-blogger

phoenix-mom-blogger

phoenix-mom-blogger

phoenix-mom-blogger

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

How is it that she can sit on a curb, eat Cheetos and appear so much cooler than I will ever be. Sigh.

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

When the boys were napping, Kelsey and I walked around the neighborhood collecting leafs for a bouquet. As soon as she walked into the cabin she threw them across the counter and forgot all about them, but it was a fun game while it lasted.

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

phoenix mom blogger

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

I set up my camera on a timer and wanted one family photo. However, Colton is holding a hair brush. No one brushed Nolan’s hair. Kelsey is posing behind dad and I’m barely standing  after sprinting back into position after setting the camera’s timer. I love every bit of this photo though because it’s real life.

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

I caught a glimpse of Nolan throwing rocks into the lake with Ryan at sunset. It’s really cool to see Nolan hanging out with the big boys. He is walking everywhere and trying his hardest to keep up with his dad and brother.

phoenix-mom-blogger

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

The last night we were in Pinetop, we walked over to the golf course and let the kids roll down the hills. You’re probably not allowed to do this so let’s keep that between us.

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

Look at that determination in Nolan’s face to get up the hill! Meanwhile, his brother comes rolling down at record speed. He was so confused. ha.

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

I’m framing this. He was trying to tell me that his pockets were “dirty” which then proceeded with a little giggle attack.

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

phoenix mom blogger

Now, let’s go back!

A Brand is Born: REVEL Wedding Co.

revel-wedding-co-many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

I’m so excited to let you in on a project we’ve been working on for the past few months! Samantha Glascock is a luxury wedding planner in Scottsdale who coordinated my brother’s wedding in San Diego and my sister’s wedding in Phoenix. Samantha is such a talented wedding planner – but most importantly, she is honest, real, hilarious and makes every situation more fun just by being involved.

When Sam came to me asking if my marketing agency SEE IT SIDEWAYS would help her bring her vision to life it was a no-brainer to get involved. We worked through her brand positioning and helped design her a logo that reflected the dynamic brand that is REVEL. The script font is actually her handwriting that was turned into a font – which I just love because it exudes the distinct one-of-a-kind experience that you get when you work with REVEL.

revel wedding co many hats of a mom blog

revel wedding co many hats of a mom blog

revel wedding co many hats of a mom blog

revel wedding co many hats of a mom blog

revel wedding co many hats of a mom blog

Please check out RevelWeddingCo.com and let me know what you think. Photos courtesy of Elyse Hall and Andrea Jade and styled by Sam. I’m telling you, she’s a creative visionary and I’m so incredibly proud to know this girl.  Any brides out there? Email Sam directly here for information on her luxury wedding planning services.

MacDonald’s Ranch Pumpkin Patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

Fall is my favorite time of year. The weather FINALLY cools down in the desert making the nights and mornings bearable. Not to mention, my birthday month is on the horizon and everything smells like pumpkin spice and cinnamon. What’s not to love?

We recently took the kids to the MacDonald’s Ranch Pumpkin Patch – it was our first time at the ranch and honestly the best pumpkin patch we’ve visited. From the moment we arrived, I had a great feeling this would be great. There were so many activities for the kids to do! Pony rides, gold digging, lasso learning, horseshoe throwing, petting zoo and a huge hay maze that they had all to themselves!

The gates close at 5pm and the patch officially ends at 6pm. When we were there, I looked at the clock and realized it was 5:45 and we hadn’t even picked out pumpkins yet! We looked around and couldn’t figure out where they were until one of the ranchers told us we had to take a hay ride over to the patch. Had to? Yes, please!

We jumped on board a mule-drawn hayride and off we went. Our ‘driver’ Gary was so incredibly nice, patient and talked to us all about the ranch. I call him patient because 5 minutes into the hayride back to the main entrance, I realized I had left my purse down at the pumpkin patch and he had to take us aaaaaall the way back. Did I mention by this time it was well over 6pm, which was their closing time. What can I say, I’m a mom without a memory these days.

If you get the opportunity to go to a pumpkin patch this year TAKE YOUR KIDS TO MACDONALD’S RANCH. I’m literally shouting it because I loved this place so much. We’ll be back year after year, for sure.

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

dsc08041

Nolan was the best this evening. He walked around with a huge smile on his face and pointed at everything he saw. When we got to the pumpkin patch part, he literally just sat down in the patch and watched his sister and brother pick out the perfect pumpkin. Dare I say, he was the cutest pumpkin in the entire patch? 🙂

macdonalds pumpkin patch

Watching the goats eat dinner.

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog
macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog
macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

We had the hay maze to ourselves! It was so fun to watch them run through the maze and figure out how to get out. And if Ryan and I are being honest, it was a nice way to enjoy a moment of silence while your littles are contained by barrels of hay.

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch
macdonalds pumpkin patch

Do you think they look alike? Nolan is a spitting image of my brothers but I think he’s got a lot of Ryan in him too.
macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog
macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

If you’re wondering, no – we did not get the $9.00 pumpkins. If you know Ryan Cross, then you know we had to wait until the kids found pumpkins that fit in the smallest $4.00 hole.

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

Thank you to MacDonald’s Ranch for hosting us this year. We are so thankful for the opportunity to come experience your ranch. If I could do it all over again, I would allow for more time to spend here – there is seriously so much for kids to do. We only had one hour, so I would recommend two at least. Enjoy!

Daughter Date at the Desert Botanical Garden

desert botanical garden many hats of a mom blog

Kelsey is on fall break so Ryan and I took her to the Desert Botanical Garden to explore. With a notebook in hand and crayons in her purse, we decided it would be a great opportunity for her to learn more about our indigenous plants and surroundings. I wasn’t sure if she would find it as interesting as we do, but she loved it!

She drew a line down the center of her notebook (one side for mom, one side for Kelsey) and we took turns drawing our favorite plants. Sadly for me, her drawings were better than mine! But in my defense, I was trying to balance a camera, purse and you know … I was drawing from a bad angle. ha.

desert botanical gardens mom blogger

desert botanical gardens mom blogger

It felt like we had the place to ourselves. Mostly because the trails would wind and turn, allowing you to feel like you were alone in the garden. I’ll have to come back when it’s just Ryan and I because it felt like it could be a romantic place to stroll at night. Especially after cocktails at Gertrude’s, their on site restaurant.

desert botanical gardens mom blogger

desert botanical gardens mom blogger

desert botanical gardens mom blogger

desert botanical gardens mom blogger

See what I mean about our drawings? She drew them as good as me!

desert botanical gardens mom blogger

There are bunnies, quails, lizards and Monarch Butterflies at the Garden. This was an especially cool moment – only because Kelsey is going to be a Monarch Butterfly for Halloween. She loved pointing out the different critters that we saw along our walk.

desert botanical garden phoenix mom blogger

desert botanical garden phoenix mom blogger

desert botanical gardens mom blogger

This cactus looked like a heart so we immediately stopped in awe.

desert botanical gardens mom blogger

desert botanical gardens mom blogger

We are so grateful to live in a place that is as naturally beautiful as this. Walking through 140 acres of this gorgeous landscape reminds you to stop and enjoy the moment. Which is exactly what we did.

desert botanical gardens phoenix mom blogger

desert botanical garden phoenix mom blogger

desert botanical gardens phoenix mom blogger

desert botanical garden phoenix mom blogger

By the end of the night, she was all giggles. It could have been the sucker I gave her, too. That’s probably it.

desert botanical garden phoenix mom blogger

desert botanical garden phoenix mom blogger

 

desert botanical gardens phoenix mom blogger

desert botanical garden - many hats of a mom blog

desert botanical gardens phoenix mom blogger

desert botanical garden phoenix mom blogger

desert botanical garden phoenix mom blogger

desert botanical garden phoenix mom blogger

desert botanical garden phoenix mom blogger

This is a picture of my future. I asked her to hang out while I shopped in their cute gift shop (if you want succulents matched with beautiful pots, this is your place) and she immediately took to my phone to play Pokemon Go.

desert botanical gardens phoenix mom blogger desert botanical gardens phoenix mom blogger

As we were walking out of the Garden, you can’t help but notice this amazing art installation at the entrance. I stopped to snap some photos when Kelsey screamed, “Wow!! Mom, look at that!” I thought she was really getting into this art thing, only to realize this is some sort of a “poke stop”  –  this generation is so hard to keep up with!

Thank you to the Desert Botanical Garden for hosting us. We will definitely be back!

Teri’s Gorgeous Arcadia Baby Shower

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

I joke that I have been trying to get my friend, Teri pregnant for years! The time has finally come, as she and Danny are expecting their first bundle of joy in November. They aren’t going to find out the gender so it’s been incredibly hard to contain myself from indulging in girl clothes (that’s my guess!) and tons of pink and purple shenanigans. And even though it’s killing me not to know, I’m super proud of them for sticking to their guns and doing this their way.

This past Saturday, our mutual friend Rachel, owner of Outstanding Occasions and event planner extraordinaire, hosted the most magical baby shower at her home. Rachel went over the top to ensure every little detail was as beautiful and as personal as the next. It was the perfect afternoon to celebrate one of the coolest couples we know. If you are fortunate enough to know Danny and Teri then you know their baby is going to be one lucky girl. Or, boy.

Below are a few photos I captured from Teri’s special day.

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

mom blogger phoenix baby shower

baby-shower

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

baby shower mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog


baby shower 3

baby shower mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

mom blog phoenix baby shower

One proud dad-to-be!

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

floral baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

teri baby shower phoenix mom blogger
mom blog phoenix baby shower
arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

Meet Rachel. She put on such a wonderful event – I have no idea how she did it, while keeping up with her 10-month-old son at home, but that’s why we call moms like this, Super Moms.

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

mom blog phoenix baby shower

It was a One Hope Wine kind of day. I love One Hope (mostly because I’m drinking for a great cause – check out more here) but I had no idea they make Champagne too. Until this moment, that is. Thanks to Colby for making sure our glasses were always half full.

floral baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

floral baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

Can we pause and just look at how BEAUTIFUL this mama is? She is seriously glowing from the inside out. I was secretly hoping she’d be just like me … gain 60lbs, have stretch marks, horrible cravings and super swollen ankles so we could talk about how much pregnancy sucked together later … but, that’s not the case. Proof in the fact that her ankles are perfect and that’s not even a maternity dress. I sigh.

baby shower scottsdale mom blogger

baby shower phoenix mom blog

floral baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

Once an Alpha Phi, always an Alpha Phi. Rosé all day for us.

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

baby shower many hats of a mom blog

teri baby shower phoenix mom blogger

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

arcadia phoenix baby shower - many hats of a mom blog

T – I am so incredibly happy for you. You and Danny are going to be amazing parents! Ryan and I can’t wait to get our hands on your little one, we love you both so much. Congratulations, friend!

Family Day Fun with Gifts.com

gifts.com - may hats of a mom blogger

gifts.com - may hats of a mom blogger

gifts.com - may hats of a mom blogger

gifts.com - may hats of a mom blogger

gifts.com - may hats of a mom blogger

gifts.com - may hats of a mom blogger

gifts.com - may hats of a mom blogger

gifts.com - may hats of a mom blogger
gifts.com - may hats of a mom blogger

gifts.com - may hats of a mom blogger

gifts.com - may hats of a mom blogger

gifts.com - may hats of a mom blogger

Last night we ditched our plans and had a wonderful family picnic outside. In celebration of Family Day today, it was important to step away from the homework, iPhones, TV shows, laundry, swim/gym/soccer practice and just be still, together.  We were excited to partner with Gifts.com to celebrate this initiative. They sent us this amazing farmer’s market gift basket by Cherry Farms Foods.

Colton immediately gravitated toward the candies and Nolan instinctively took all of the fruit and hoarded it like baseballs. Kelsey ate all of the sea salt caramel cookies (can you blame her?) and Ryan and I just indulged in this amazing Phoenix weather. We hope you too take time out of your busy schedules to celebrate Family Day today. Do a board game. Go for a walk. Whatever floats your boat as long as you’re doing it together.

*Thank you to Gifts.com for providing great family gifts (here) to inspire families to reconnect.

Oh, and I got half of a braid in her hair! That was a huge win. She never lets me braid her hair. Half is better than nothing, so it appears we are making some progress over here.

toddler hair - phoenix mom blog

Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market

 

junk in the trunk vintage market - many hats of a mom blogger

If you’re in Scottsdale this weekend, visit the Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market – it’s a fabulous traveling market – filled with over 170 vendors selling handmade or vintage finds. They have booths upon booths of creativity just oozing out of this place! My business partner at SEE IT SIDEWAYS and I have a passion for supporting small businesses with big dreams and incredible talent. There was no shortage of them here. Check out some of our pics.

junk in the trunk vintage market - many hats of a mom blogger

junk in the trunk vintage market - many hats of a mom blogger

junk in the trunk vintage market - many hats of a mom blogger

junk in the trunk vintage market - many hats of a mom blogger

junk in the trunk vintage market - many hats of a mom blogger

junk in the trunk vintage market - many hats of a mom blogger

junk in the trunk vintage market - many hats of a mom blogger

junk in the trunk vintage market - many hats of a mom blogger

junk in the trunk vintage market - many hats of a mom blogger

junk in the trunk vintage market - many hats of a mom blogger

ike davis, phoenix mom blog

Just as we were about to leave, I ran into one of my FAVORITE colleague’s from Starwood Hotels AND my brother’s childhood friend Ike Davis whom I haven’t seen in over 10 years. I love when the universe works like that.

Book your Fall Mini Sessions and/or a Halloween Photo Shoot

Fall is already in the morning air around here, so I’m excited to start thinking about fall & holiday photo sessions.  Many of my friends were asking, so I decided to do family fall photo sessions again this year. These are mini photo sessions (30 minutes) and a great way to capture memories with your family. If you live in Arizona, I would love to photograph your family this season. See below for details.

stephaniecross-fall-mini-sessions-2016

I’m also really excited to announce that I’ll be doing mini sessions for Halloween! Instead of snapping an iPhone pic of your child the night of Halloween when it’s dark and the kids are running out the door in excitement, let’s dress them up a few days early and take some high-quality photos! For only $50 (per family), you’ll get 10 edited images and the kids only have to spend 15 minutes showing off their costumes. Offer details are below.

stephanie-cross-halloween-mini-sessions

The Halloween sessions will be in an outdoor seating in Phoenix. Location to be announced.