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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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.

Taking our brainstorming session outdoors

We took our weekly brainstorming session outdoors today. Mostly because it was raining and (kinda) cold in Phoenix today. We tried Pomegranate Cafe and loved it! Whole 30 and Orange Theory have been good to me, so I gave their muffins the cold shoulder, but my business partner Heidi indulged in the Snickerdoodle muffin while I sadly at my salad next to her. One day I’ll be back for that muffin.

Pomegranate Cafe - Mom Blogger Phoenix

Pomegranate Cafe - Mom Blogger Phoenix

Pomegranate Cafe - Mom Blogger Phoenix

Pomegranate Cafe - Mom Blogger Phoenix

Have you tried this place? It’s a great Vegan restaurant with a really cool vibe. Check it out here.

Pinch me, I must be dreaming

When I ventured away from my job at Starwood Hotels to co-found a new marketing agency, I was terrified. I’m a creative person by nature and one of my fears was the work – what if the work wasn’t as sexy as the work I was doing for W Hotels and St. Regis.? Would I be happy if it wasn’t? These questions, amongst others, were replaying in the back of my head.

Fast-forward a few weeks and my work-life balance has never been more in sync. Not to mention, the clients that we’ve had the privilege of working with FUEL my creativity. They are amazing, talented, and so incredibly good at what they do for a living that when our talents collide, it’s pure magic. We didn’t start this agency for money. Or for ourselves. We started it out of a love for marketing. A joy we get when we are able to help a business navigate the digital landscape, to support a business need or reach customers in ways they didn’t think possible.

I chose our agency name SEE IT SIDEWAYS for the simple reason that sometimes all your business needs is for someone to see things differently. Sideways, if you will. As I sit here today, I have been reflecting on how liberating it is to get out of the corporate rat race and to enter my own kind of race. A race where I get to have breakfast with my kids every morning, without rushing them out the door to book it to work. A race where I love my clients. A race where every day I want to be a better marketer than the last.

What could be better?

These next few photos might not make a whole lot of sense to you, but they are photos I took from the past few days on the job. Photos of leisurely mornings home with the kids. Photos visiting clients. Photos of a mid-day coffee (alone!). Photos from brainstorming meetings with my partners and new clients. Photos that mean a lot to me because they represent an entirely new world for me. A world filled with possibility.

SEE IT SIDEWAYS - Many hats of a mom blog

SEE IT SIDEWAYS - Many hats of a mom blog

SEE IT SIDEWAYS - Many hats of a mom blog

ruze cakehouse - many hats of a mom blogger

many hats of a mom blog - see it sideways marketing agency

SEE IT SIDEWAYS - Many hats of a mom blog

SEE IT SIDEWAYS - Many hats of a mom blog

SEE IT SIDEWAYS - Many hats of a mom blog

LGO Arizona - Small

see it sideways marketing - many hats of a mom blogger

SEE IT SIDEWAYS - Many hats of a mom blog

Summer in Sedona with our Kids

Sedona with kids - phoenix mom bloggers

What a great weekend! We visited Sedona for the very first time and had such a great experience. Ryan and I took our oldest kids (baby Nolan stayed home with the grandparents) to see this scenic place. It was my first time visiting Sedona (I know. I know!) and Ryan went when he was little, so we’ll call this his first time too.

As we approached the city, we started to see some of the most gorgeous red rocks. They were all around! The kids thought Sedona looked like Disney’s Cars Land and we were blown away by the beauty of it all. For some reason we had envisioned a few rocks here and there, but nothing like what we saw. We felt like we were living inside of a postcard.

orchards inn sedona hotels

We were fortunate enough to be invited up by Orchards Inn, a super quaint 70-room Inn located in the middle of Uptown Sedona. Right when Colton walked into the lobby he immediately ran to the patio and said, “Whoa! Mom, come look at this!” He was staring at “Snoopy Rock” and it was truly a sight to be seen.

orchards inn family friendly sedona hotels

The view from Orchards Inn had to be one of the best views from any Sedona hotel. I can’t imagine a better one.

sedona many hats of a mom blog

Just look at the Red Rocks reflecting off of our patio window! I think Ryan could have sat in those chairs every morning and evening just taking it all in. These huge patios made our room feel so spacious.

orchards inn family friendly sedona hotels

orhcards inn family friendly sedona hotel

many hats of a mom blog | sedona with kids

Every morning these two would overlook the pool and people watch. At night, we took blankets over to the hotel’s wedding lawn and watched the stars in the sky. The kids played with this constellation app on our iPhones and had so much fun pointing out Scorpio, Leo, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Ryan loved explaining what everything was. He’s such a science junkie. Mom on the other hand knew where the moon was and that’s about it.

orchards inn sedona hotels

I don’t know how she does it, but she manages to pose on the fly. “Kelsey, smile” somehow turns into a pointed toe, arms up in the air and a throw back of her head. I love her so much.

This picture was snapped on our way to dinner on Friday night. Directly across the street from our hotel is 89Agave – a super cute Mexican restaurant with – you guessed it – amazing views of the red rocks.

Agave89 Sedona Restaurants

I’m on the Whole 30 diet for the next 14 days so I got to watch as the kids devoured amazing cheesy dishes at this great Sedona restaurant and envied Ryan’s orange cinnamon margarita. The best part about the restaurant, for the kids, was this oversized chalkboard wall where Kelsey wrote her name and Colton drew a circle. Ha!

89agave sedona dining

89agave sedona restaurants for kids
89agave sedona restaurants for kids

89agave sedona restaurants for kids

89agave sedona restaurants for kids

89agave sedona restaurants for kids

89agave sedona restaurants for kids

89agave sedona restaurants for kids
After dinner we walked up and down the main street looking at all of the shops and touristy things. We listened to street music, grabbed ice cream at Black Cow Cafe and counted how many Pink Jeeps we could find.

phoenix mom blog sedona with kids

uptown sedona mom blog

sedona with kids mom blogger

sedona with kids - many hats of a mom blog

 

 

Sedona Many Hats of a Mom Blog

Day 2 we woke up and went to West Fork Hiking Trail. It’s $10 to park (cash only!) and we recommend arriving early – as the parking lot was full when we left. West Fork hiking trail is 3.3 miles (one way) and if you hike the entire trail, you’ll cross the river 13 times. We made it across 5 times before the kids wanted to head back. Mostly because mom left the snacks sitting on our hotel room bed. Mom fail!

About three steps into our hike back to the car, the kids requested piggy back rides. We really didn’t mind because this trail was shaded, pretty tame and super scenic. If you’re in Sedona with kids, I would recommend this hike. Maybe not with a toddler on your back, but nonetheless, it was a fantastic hike for our little ones.

west fork sedona hike with kids

west fork sedona hike with kids

west fork sedona hike with kids

Do you see Colton down there? He was yelling, “Echo! Echo!” at this little sparrow that was sitting on a rock. I told him he could hear is echo so apparently he kept saying “Echo” so he could hear it. Makes sense.

west fork sedona hiking trail with kids

west fork sedona hike with kids

west fork sedona hiking trail with kids

west fork sedona hike with kids

After the hike, we were starving! We randomly stopped at Indian Gardens because there was a sign on the front that said, “Deli”. To our surprise, this place was super charming and filled with healthy breakfast and lunch items. It reminds me of a restaurant back in Phoenix. There is indoor and outdoor seating and these amazing cupcakes that I just stared out while ordering my boring black coffee and egg whites.

many hats of a mom blog | sedona with kids

many hats of a mom blog | sedona with kids

sedona restaurants mom blogger

many hats of a mom blog | sedona with kids

many hats of a mom blog | sedona with kids

sedona restaurants mom blogger

After our hike, we took the kids swimming back at Orchards Inn and then Ryan, Kelsey and Colton took … ready for this … a three-hour nap! I couldn’t believe it. Apparently hiking + sun + chlorine is a recipe for a very peaceful afternoon for mom.

On Saturday night, we decided to celebrate Father’s Day a day early at the Orchard Inn’s sister hotel, L’Auberge de Sedona. We ate at Etch Kitchen & Wine Bar which was located along the creek. Besides the ‘tude I got from Kelsey on the walk down to the hotel (see below), it was a great way to cap off an already amazing weekend. I know I’m saying a lot of adjectives that sound the same in this blog post but I can’t stress enough how great this weekend was.

sedona with kids - many hats of a mom blog

sedona with kids mom blogger

Thanks Kelsey for snapping this picture of us. She even said, “Wait” and climbed up a few stairs so she would be tall enough to shoot the camera directly at us. Well done, sister.sedona with kids - many hats of a mom blog

sedona with kids - many hats of a mom blog

sedona with kids - many hats of a mom blog

sedona with kids - many hats of a mom blog

Celebrating one of the best dad’s there is!

sedona family vacation mom blogger

sedona family vacation mom blogger

After dinner, our GPS took us to “Chapel Cross Trail” which we thought would make for a great evening hike. Turns out, it’s actually a chapel and dead ends you into a residential neighborhood. As we were getting out of the car to watch the sunset, Colton stepped on a cactus. In true Stephanie fashion, I left the first-aid kit (which I literally packed for every type of situation) in the hotel room. This was starting to be a theme on this trip.

Ryan quickly pulled out the cactus and wrapped my jacket around his leg to stop the bleeding. He was so brave and said, “It’s okay mom. I feel so much better now.” We promised him any kind of ice cream he wanted for being so brave – to which he picked mint chocolate chip. We ended the night at Baskin Robins with a bloody jacket and super happy kids. Truly a Father’s Day for the books!

 

sedona red rocks - phoenix mom blogger

sedona red rocks - phoenix mom blogger

sedona red rocks - phoenix mom blogger

Ryan shot this photo from our car window! I love it because it really sums up the weekend. On the car ride back, we stopped by the famous Rock Springs Cafe and picked up a few slices of pie (courtesy of our hotel) and two pies for Father’s day. If you’re making the drive to Sedona, this is a great pit stop along the way.

sedona with kids - many hats of a mom blog

Thank you to Orchads Inn and 89Agave for hosting us for two nights and one lovely dinner! It’s a summer family vacation we’ll treasure forever.

The Spring Carnival

We try to go to our local carnival every year (here is 2012 and 2014). It’s pretty much the fastest way to spend $60, but it’s truly a lot of fun. This was our first year going as a family of five. It’s a pretty surreal feeling when I look back at those two blog posts and see how young everyone was (including us!).

Tonight was pretty awesome though. Besides the fact that Ryan took F O R E V E R in the ticket line trying to decide if a $30 (each) unlimited ride pass was a better value than the 40 tickets for $20. He kept looking at his phone to see “how much time we have left in the day to finish these rides.” Oh, Ryan. I can’t take this CPA anywhere.

In fact, today was monumental. Not only did we make it through the carnival with all of the kids in tact, but (are you ready for this?) we made it through with ZERO tantrums! That’s right. Not a single one. I’m speaking to you, Colton! Our spunky three-year-old was the product of perfection tonight. Ahhh … what a feeling!

mom blogger in phoenix

Here are some more pictures of our fun Sunday at a spring carnival.

mom blogger phoenix events 2

mom blogger phoenix events

mom blogger phoenix

many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog
many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog
many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog
many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog

family

The Normal Diner in Tempe

Girlfriends are like fine wine, they really do get better with age. Also, like wine, you can indulge with them morning, noon or night! This morning, Teri and I went to breakfast at The Normal breakfast inTempe. She found this place on Instagram (of all places) and we loved it. The decor was super cool and the vibe was great. We didn’t really eat much, instead we opted for mimosas, so I can’t really tell you how the food was, but The Normal is a super cute diner – check it out here.

the normal breakfast in tempe

the normal breakfast in tempe

the normal breakfast in tempe

the normal breakfast in tempe

the normal breakfast in tempe

the normal breakfast in tempe

A Day Spent Volunteering

many hats of a mom blog

Today, my work family and I spend the day volunteering at our local Toys for Tots distribution center. Every year, we pick a day and spend the entire time giving back to our community. It’s a great way for us to work together for a great cause.

many hats of a mom blog

We sorted through toys and toys (and toys!) and bagged them up for deserving families in need so they could have a magical holiday this year. It was amazing to see how many people donate items to Toys for Tots. Bravo, guys.

many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog

One lady donated like 30 beanie baby … poodles! Poodles were all over this place.

mom blogger

mom blogger

Don’t we look silly? It’s a good problem to have, surrounded by a gazillion donated toys for kids.

mom blogger

mom blogger

mom arizona blogger

Okay, I just had to post this. My friends are going to kill me because this was supposed to be a joke – I thought posing like we were taking Senior Portraits would be funny. I mean, look at Andrea’s heel point (far right)? Totally casual. I swore I wouldn’t post this, but then I did. Oopsy.

Get out and donate your time this season! Your community will thank you for it.