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.

Kickstart the Weekend

diego pops scottsdale dining

A Friday lunch with a girlfriend is the best way to start the weekend! Add in the fact that Diego Pops has a ice cream bar right when you walk in, and I’m smitten. Miraculously, I walked out of this Scottsdale restaurant without a delicious dessert, and instead walked to Chopshop for a green juice (also see: not the same!) but I will be back for that cone soon.

Diego Pops Scottsdale Restaurant

Diego Pops Scottsdale Restaurant

Diego Pops Scottsdale Restaurant

*Three pics above are from Diego Pops.

Date Night Part I: RA Sushi Bar

sushi date night
Ryan and I were challenged by our church to go on a date once per week for the next four weeks. It’s part of our newest series on relationships. At first we both thought the same thing, This is kind of hard to do when you have little kids and you both work full-time, and then we turned to each other and realized that this was probably the point. Find the time. So, we put down the laptops, the iPhones and our in-laws watched the kids so we could embark on a Tuesday date night out.

sushi date night

We ran to our favorite sushi bar for a little wine and dining. We were done a lot faster than we anticipated (apparently no one goes to eat out at 5pm anymore? Anyone?) – so we ran home and watched one episode of The Killing before picking up the kids. We’ll be doing one formal date per week through the month of September. I could sure get used to this.

A Farewell Lunch for Megan

sumomaya

That’s Megan. She’s our regional Starwood Field Marketing Coordinator and she’s fabulous. She is one of the most passionate marketers I have met. She’s creative. She’s driven. She’s intelligent and she is someone who any company would be lucky to have on their team. And … she’s leaving Starwood. She’s moving to California for a great opportunity to work for Amazon.

I’m ridiculously proud of the work she has done at Starwood and selfishly so sad to see her leave our team. I have so many memories with this one and I know she will do great things, but it’s going to be a bitter-sweet day today (her last day).

Yesterday, the team and I took her to lunch to celebrate her new beginning with Amazon. We decided to try SumoMaya, a new Scottsdale restaurant. It was charming inside, spacious and designed really well. Right before we ordered Kristina turned to me and said, “Let’s just hope the food is as good as the place looks.” She was right – so many restaurants just look the part. But this one made the grade – food was excellent and service was fantastic.

This is what you get when you order a side of corn. Perfectly popped popcorn on top. The thought of Asian and Mexican on one menu is one I wasn’t sure about, but I have to tell you … the food, the service, the décor (you see all that pink, right?) was right up our ally. Two thumbs up for SumoMaya.

sumomaya-scottsdale

sumo maya scottsdale restaurantsumomaya-dining

Best of luck in your new role, Megan. From the minute you walked into our office to interview, Melissa and I knew you were a star. You have something so special about you. And with your exceptional marketing work, you truly blew us away with every project you led. I can’t wait to see where this new opportunity takes you. The office won’t be the same without you.

Downtown Denver Dining

File this restaurant recommendation away for the next time you find yourself in downtown Denver. It’s a restaurant that you’ll want to visit.

A few weeks ago, my colleague and I had a meeting with the Westin Denver Downtown’s executive team. We arrived one day early so we could see what downtown Denver had to offer. We must look like we’re from the 70’s because as we were walking through downtown people kept shouting, “Hey, you in town for the Cher concert?” Um … no?

Besides the ‘friendly people’ we were pleasantly taken back by the charm of downtown. Boutiques, shops and cafes all around. The streets were lined with the same kind of outdoor light bulbs that you’d expect on a cute southern patio. Charming and really set the mood for a good evening.

My friend Meghan recommended a great downtown Denver restaurant to try, and one that was in walking distance of the Westin. So, Nancy and I walked into Osteria Marco. Well, not before I nearly walked into Ocean Prime. Osteria/ Ocean … you could easily mix them up too, no?

Dinner was perfect. Perfect food. Perfect service. Perfect atmosphere. If you find yourself in Denver, check out Osteria Marco. You won’t be disappointed. Oh, and there’s a super cute bakery/ market next door where we stopped in for some desserts while we waited for our table.

Two foodie thumbs up, Denver.

Downtown Denver downtowndenverrestaurantsdowntowndenverdowntowndenverrestaurants2downtown-denver-bakerydowntowndenverdiningostera-marco-denver-restaurantdowntowndenverdining

Six Years and Counting

Today, we have been married six years and one day! It feels like yesterday. It’s pretty cool because every six years your anniversary falls on the actual day of the week that you got married: ours was Friday, April 18, 2008. My in-laws graciously watched the kids while Ryan and I went to dinner at Lons at the Hermosa Inn.

We heard great things about Lons and were not disappointed. The food was okay but the patio was heaven. It was beautiful weather, we had a great spot near the fountain, under this huge tree and near the live music. They greeted us with a ‘Happy Anniversary’ and had rose pedals on our table (how cute is that?). We laugh because for our first anniversary we went to Elements at The Sanctuary and received the WORST service to-date so this place not only trumps them, but it’s a place we will recommend and come back to.

Ryan and I were finished with dinner and just about to order desert when Ryan pulled a blue box from his pant pocket and set it in front of me. I got you a little something, he said. A little something? It was a Tiffany’s box which equates to waterworks after two glasses of wine and an already perfect evening. I think I cried for 10 minutes. Finally, he said, “Aren’t you going to open it?”

He bought me an infinity ring to symbolize how long we’ll be married. All of our lives. I  love it. I love him. I loved celebrating six years with a man who I look up to. I think I pinched myself seven times last night, just thinking of all the great things we have been able to do in six years. Together, I feel like we are better versions of ourselves. Marriage is a true blessing and for that I’m forever thankful.

anniversary at lons at hermosa inn

Pomegranate Cafe with my Girls

Thank you to my college roommate and dear friend, Sarah for making me try a restaurant that is known as a ‘vegan place’. It’s really just a super healthy spot and we loved it. Kelsey’s favorite part was when our smoothies came out. Mine was orange, moms was bright purple and Kelsey’s was “pinkalicious.” These two make for great lunch dates, I tell ya.

Pomegranate cafe

pomegranate cafe 1

pomegranate cafe 6

pomegranate cafe 8

pomegranate cafe 5

pomegranate cafe 3Every single frame is crooked on this wall. I wanted to scream.

 pomegranate cafe 10

pomegranate cafe 7

Pretty day at The Farm at South Mountain

Teri took me to a great lunch at The Farm at South Mountain. We ate our food picnic style – 500 calorie Apple Juice for her, Iced Tea for me – and sat outdoors in the beautiful Arizona sun.

She gifted me two generous gifts that made me squeal – literally. So much so that a woman stopped by our table and said, “If you don’t want that gift, I’ll take it.” A little Latisse and a new shawl. Love it! I really do treasure any afternoon that I get to spend gabbing and lunching with this Ting of mine.

the farm at south mountain the farm at south mountainthe farm at south mountain the farm at south mountain the farm at south mountainOthe farm at south mountain the farm at south mountainthe farm at south mountainthe farm at south mountainSo much to see and do. I’ll be back with my family. There is this open grass area with tons of picnic tables. It’s also the place where ABC’s Bachelor Ben Flanjnik and Courtney Robertson had a hometown date. Yes, this ran through my mind the entire time.