Oh, Make me over!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Beauty Counter giveaway (previous post). I got so many great entries and comments on what your favorite beauty products are. I wanted to share some them here so others could see. Now I know what I’m buying the next time I go to Sephora. Thanks to our sponsor Natasha at Beauty Counter for hosting a great giveaway and congratulations to Mahdi for being the lucky winner!


Batist Divine Dark Dry shampoo
Beauty Counter Charcoal Mask
Beauty Counter Rejuvenating Night Cream
Beauty Counter Balancing Face Oil
Becca First Light Priming Filter
Benefit Erase Paste
Better than Sex Mascara
Black Tie Market Lip Balm
Butter London Sheer Wisdom Lush Lip Oil
Clarisonic Mia
Dr. Bronners Soap
Makeup Forever Lipsticks
EOS Lip Balm
Eyebrow Powder
Eyelash Curler
MAC Lipsticks
Marc Jacobs Color Correcting Stick
NARS Bronzing Powder
Pixi Glowtonic
Rosewater Mist
St. Tropez Sunless Tanner
Stila Liquid Foundation
Tarte Shape Tape
Urban Decay Naked Eye Shadow Palette

Also, while we are on the topic of beauty, I went to visit one of my clients, Cake Skincare, in Seattle recently for their second salon grand opening. They are a skin care company that knows so much about choosing the right products for your skin. If you live in the Seattle area, stop in for a consultation or visit their online shop where you’ll find amazing products that have pure ingredients, are¬†sustainably sourced, and provide effective results.

Here are some photos from my recent visit!

cake skincare Seattle - phoenix blogger
Cake Skincare

cake skincare Seattle - phoenix blogger

cake skincare Seattle - phoenix blogger

cake skincare Seattle - phoenix blogger
cake skincare Seattle - phoenix blogger

cake skincare Seattle blogger


Napa Valley Blues, Greens and Merlots

silver oak napa valley blogger

silver oak napa valley bloggersilver oak napa valley blogger

You may recognize this water tower from the Silver Oak logo – it’s not a functioning tower any more, but it sure looks nice! We visited Silver Oak Vineyards on day two. One of my sorority sisters gave me a bottle of Silver Oak Merlot for my bridal shower (over 8 years ago!) and we drank it on our first wedding anniversary. Silver Oak has been a special wine of ours ever since.

silver oak napa valley blogger
silver oak napa valley blogger

silver oak napa valley blogger

silver oak napa valley blogger

Can you believe their wine was $6 per bottle when it first debuted in the ’70’s … and that was considered expensive! Most wine was being sold under a dollar. I loved this bit of history during our winery tour. For $30 per person, you can do a signature tasting & tour – they also throw in complimentary wine glasses.

napa valley

silver oak napa valley blogger

silver oak

silver oak napa valley blogger
silver oak napa valley blogger
napa valley
After Silver Oak we didn’t have any plans until late afternoon. Sometimes that’s the best part of vacation, right? Throwing out any form of a schedule and just ‘going’. That’s so hard of me to do since I’m such a Type A personality, but I’m so glad we did it because we found the most amazing restaurant, Farmstead. We heard it was one of only a few REAL farm-to-table restaurants in the U.S. Either way, we are certain they are to blame for our 6lb weight gain this trip.

Farmstead Napa Valley Travel Blogger
I mean … just look at Ryan’s Pulled Pork sandwich! This is the kind of stuff you order here. You don’t come to Farmstead to get a salad. Although, I’m sure that’s good too.

Farmstead Napa Valley Travel Blogger

Farmstead Napa Valley Travel Blogger

Like my purple lipstick? That’s called Cabernet and it was all over my teeth too. Who cares. We’re in Napa!

farmstead napa valley travel blogger

Farmstead Napa Valley Travel Blogger
farmstead napa valley restaurants
If I could do it again, I would come back at sunset – I can only imagine how romantic it is at night with all of the lights and live music outdoors. The Farmstead property and on-site market was so charming! So much so that I turned to Ryan and told him, “THIS is what I want our home to feel like.” Yep. I have been officially inspired to re-do our house and our backyard to feel like the Farmstead. You know, minor details.

farmstead napa valley restaurants

farmstead napa valley restaurants

napa valley travel mom blogger

napa valley travel mom blogger

napa valley travel mom blogger
napa valley travel mom blogger

A little game of horseshoes, some local caramel and we were on our way to our next stop, Caymus Vineyards. 

caymus napa valley

caymus vineyards

By this time the heels had come off, the flats were on and the purple/ Merlot stained smile was in full effect. Our next stop was Frog’s Leap Vineyards. The wine wasn’t our favorite, but the view, the vibe, the people … their dog, Abbie, all of those other factors made this one of the best places we visited! They gave us a complimentary Sauvignon blanc and some apple butter from their garden for our Anniversary. The best way to end a day of tasting!

frogs leap vineyards

frogs leap napa mom blogger

frogs leap napa mom blogger

frogs leap napa mom blogger
Forget for a moment that this is the cutest vineyard ever, with the most relaxing vibe, but then throw in Abbie – the owners dog. She is the cutest, raggiest thing and I may have been following her around yelling her name more than once. I mean … look at her. When she finally sat down and curled up at my feet, I almost lost it with excitement.

frogs leap vineyards in napa valley blog

frogs leap napa valley

frogs leap napa mom blogger

frogs leap

frogs leap napa mom blogger

frogs leap napa valley
And then – this is every husband’s dream – I made Ryan wear their vineyard hats. These hats are reserved for people on tours to shade them from the sun … but, I really think they’re reserved for moments when you’ve had a little too much to drink and you want to look amazing while walking around. Right, Ryan? He. Looks. Ridiculous. I was literally crying, I was laughing so hard.

frogs leap napa valley

frogs leap chickens

frogs leap napa mom blogger

Now, who wants to watch all three of our kids so we can make this an annual thing. ūüôā Seriously, one of the best vacations I have had (have I said that enough?). If you haven’t been to Napa, you should make the trip. It’s remarkable how beautiful nature can be.

Our first day in Napa Valley!

If you get the opportunity to date your husband, I highly recommend it. I had THE best time with Ryan celebrating our anniversary. The grandparents (thank the Lord for them!) watched all three of our kids while we lived it up … together. Everything we did was amazing – it was the wine, the food, but mostly the great company. I laughed more than I have in a long time. I actually forgot how funny my husband is. I really can’t stress this enough: Date your spouse! Here are a few stories from our first day in Napa.

We started the day at Bouchon Bakery. It’s Thomas Keller’s bakery and it did not disappoint. We were only stopping in for coffee, but when we saw all of the pastries lined up we couldn’t resist. You know when you wake up on day two and say, “Let’s go back!” that it’s a great bakery. Worth the visit if you’re in the area.

Bouchon Bakery

Bouchon Bakery

Bouchon Bakery

If you’re wondering, the coffee (aka the reason we came) was great too! Next stop: Duckhorn Vineyards. It was our first winery and it was the best start to the day. We showed up at 10am on a Monday and had the place to ourselves for the first hour. We were greeted with a private table on their porch (it felt like we were being invited into someone’s house) and indulged in great wine, good music and amazing views.

The vineyard cat, Kitter, was a highlight for us. She followed us around as we explored the vineyard and then perched herself onto the chair next to us. Our host for the day (James) was so welcoming. We spent about 2 hours here, just sipping wine, enjoying the breeze, chatting, laughing, and walking around the vineyard.

Napa Valley Vineyards 12
Napa Valley Vineyards 2

Napa Valley Vineyards 3

Napa Valley Vineyards 4

Napa Valley Vineyards 5

Napa Valley Vineyards 10

Napa Valley Vineyards 6

Napa Valley Vineyards 9

Napa Valley Vineyards 7

Napa Valley Vineyards 11

Napa Valley Vineyards 8

Napa Valley Vineyards 1

Napa Valley Vineyards 13
Did you read the sign? We parked right next to this tree. As we were walking back to the car we read that this is the tree they make wine cork from. It was super “spongey” and cool to see up close.

Napa Valley Vineyards

After Duckhorn, we visited Dean and DeLuca to grab sandwiches and snacks for lunch. This place was awesome! You can pick up meats, cheeses and crackers for a day of tasting – along with cute gifts for friends back home.

Dean and Deluca Napa Valley

Dean and Deluca Napa

Dean and Deluca Napa

Dean and Deluca Napa
Dean and Deluca Napa

You’re not supposed to do this (so .. shhhh!) but we took our lunch across the street to V. Sattui and had a picnic lunch on their lawn. Someone told me this place wasn’t worth the trip, but I disagree. The grounds were beautiful and they had so many picnic tables, making it the perfect spot for a picnic lunch. You just aren’t supposed to bring outside food in because they have their own grocery shop inside (we didn’t know that until we got there). I fell in love with the rose bushes here – take a look at how beautiful they were.

napa valley mom blogger

napa valley mom blogger

napa valley mom blogger

napa valley mom blogger

Now, for the best views of the day! After lunch, we went to Joseph Phelps for another wine tasting. As we drove up the long windy, road we knew we were in for something great. We stepped into their winery and the huge oak barrels, cozy interior design and sophisticated ambiance made for a totally different experience than Duckhorn.

We learned a lot about their wine and even got to taste Backus – a super rare wine typically reserved for wine club members only due to its very limited supply. Insignia was one of my favorite wines and one that I may have to find back in Arizona. Except it’s about $200 per bottle. That’s okay, right honey? I could hear him gulp after I told him, “Wow! I really love this one.”

joseph phelps 8

Joseph phelps 3

Joseph Phelps

Joseph phelps 4

Joseph Phelps 2

joseph phelps 6

joseph phelps

How handsome is he? I’m super lucky.

joseph phelps 7

joseph phelps mom blogger
Can you believe these views? We stayed here for about two hours and the only reason we left was to get some downtime back at the hotel before dinner. I highly recommend this winery (although it’s $75 for a tasting, per person) it was worth it. Speaking of dinner, GO TO BOTTEGA. Seriously. Go. It was the best Italian food we have had in a long time. Not to mention, half way through dinner Ryan slipped me a new Tiffany necklace for our anniversary. I’m telling you … this vacation was magic!

After dinner, we walked to the local market because I forgot to pack my toothbrush (I ALWAYS forget to pack my toothbrush) and on our way back we stopped at Bistro Jeanty – super small, French bistro in the town of Yountville. We sat on this little table outside, as we waited for our Uber, listening to the most amazing music. It felt like we were in Paris.

bottega in napa valley - mom blogger

bottega in napa valley - mom blogger

This one elderly couple walked out of the restaurant as we were sitting outside. The wife took one look us – I imagine we looked weird holding a brown paper sack (my toothbrush) – and raised her hands in the air and shouted, “This is why I love this town!!!” I’m not really sure what that meant, or how many cocktails she had, but I would like to think it was because this city evokes love and joy in everyone.

Desert Camping for Spring Break

For Kelsey’s spring break we decided to go camping. Since¬†we have a 6-month old baby we couldn’t go far. Instead, I had an¬†idea (an idea that sounded good at the time) for Kelsey & Ryan to camp in the backyard. Fun, right? We got the tent out, I bought snacks and Ryan even brought down her mattress so she would be comfortable.

As I was kissing her goodnight inside of the tent, she turned to me and demanded, “Mom! I DO NOT want to wake up inside the mouth of a wolf. Got it?” I was dying laughing. Then we played the “what if” game for about 20 minutes. “What if the wolf gets over the fence? What if the wolf opens the tent zipper with his teeth. What if …” I reminded her that we live in the suburbs and wolves don’t hang out here. After that didn’t work, I finally said, wolves can’t get past daddy. You’re safe.

Colton wanted to spend the night with me inside the house so I gladly accepted his request. The reason this sounded like a good idea (but wasn’t actually a good one) was because of baby Nolan. He is teething and was awake every two hours. At about 2am, I came downstairs to get Tylenol and a bottle and I peeked outside to see my husband snoozing away … as I walked upstairs like a zombie I thought, “Great idea, Steph.”

phoenix mom blog


Our Blog Worthy Lunch

There’s really nothing “blog worthy” about lunch with my family – except for the fact that it’s lunch with my family. Isn’t that enough? Oh, and the fact that I totally pulled an “instagram husbands” cliche with this shot.

mom blog phoenix

I was annoyed that Ryan took a bite out of his sandwich before I got a photo. And then we both had a good laugh at the fact that I even take detailed shots like this. I’m such a dork. It’s a sandwich, Stephanie. But a really good one at that. Thanks Wildflower Bread Company!

mom blogger in phoenix

Ryan did her hair. I bet you couldn’t even tell. We’ll call this a “messy pony tail” with a clip hanging onto her bangs for dear life. And that little baby boy of mine. Can you believe he’s almost four months old?

mom blogger in phoenix

At first glance, it looks like I’m hugging Colton all cute-like, but really I’m tackling him and trying to pin him down because he kept crawling under the table, jumping up and down and trying to climb over the booth. That’s what’s really going down in this photo.

mom blog phoenix

So, I guess lunch with my family was blog-worthy after all. In fact, it’s days like this when I am reminded how kids can truly make ordinary things feels so extraordinary.

A Happy Family Giveaway

Happy Family Snacks - Giveaway

My kids loved Happy Family snacks when they were babies and they still love it now, so you can imagine my excitement when the brand and I decided to partner up on a little giveaway. Happy Family gifted us their Snack Happy pack for our Labor Day family vacation. We went to our family cabin and took this snack pack along for the ride.

I swear¬†having these snacks within arms reach¬†saved us from so many would-be tantrums. We were actually riding in the car when Colton started screaming (it’s his new thing to do). I grabbed the yogurt bites for him, some organic chocolate cookies for her and within a few seconds¬†everything was nice and silent once more. I might have snuck in a cookie for myself too. What? They’re good!

{The kids drinking their shakes and doing a ‘cheers!’}

happy family snack mom blog giveaway

Happy Family Snack  -  Many Hats of Mom

{The kids digging into the Chocolate Pumpkin cookies.}

Happy Family Snacks - Chocolate Pumpkin

happy family snacks - colton 2

happy family snacks - colton

Now for the best part … Happy Family is giving you the exact same thing they gave me. A Snack Happy pack¬†valued at $50 and FILLED with yogurt bites, breakfast and dessert squeezies, cookies, nutritional shakes, vegetable and dried fruit snacks, a family tote and more!

happy family snack kit

I snapped this photo of the Snack Happy pack that you’ll receive. Notice the ripped green yogurt bites in the background? My kids dug into this snack pack faster than I could take a picture of it. But, you get the picture.

How to Enter

Simply follow the instructions below and you’ll be entered to win these organic snacks. Enter with your email address or Facebook log in (this only required so I¬†can contact you if you win). Get bonus entry points for liking Happy Family brands on Facebook or commenting on this blog post.

This giveaway closes at 12am EST on September 18, 2014. One winner will be notified by email and their snack pack will be mailed within 72 hours. Only one submission per valid email address. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New York. Where have I been?

I’ve clearly been living under a rock. I am 31 years old and just experiencing New York for the first time. I only have a few hours in the city before a day full of meetings tomorrow, but I’m already planning a return trip back. I didn’t even make it two feet out of my cab before calling Ryan and declaring that we¬†plan a return trip¬†(just us) to¬†experience all of the great things New York City has to offer.

More photos to come. But first, I loved this moment today. I was walking to The Plaza hotel when I saw this tourist taking in the moment, it was just too perfect to pass up. And don’t think for a second that I didn’t think of joining her. Oh, New York … I’m in love.

new york tourist