A Sheraton Staycation in Phoenix

What a day! My family stayed at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass over the weekend and invited us to come down and lay by the pool. Little did we know the resort had a ton of activities for kids! And by a ton I mean they had a BALLROOM filled with inflatable bounce houses (with a bar for the adults!), pool DJ, water slides, food, games, music … it was truly a great day spent poolside.

many hats of a mom blog - phoenix

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

phoenix many hats of a mom blog

Hi, mom and dad!

many hats of a mom blog - phoenix

phoenix many hats of a mom blog

phoenix many hats of a mom blog

Kelsey bought these pineapple shades when she was four years old. Three years later and she still loves them!

phoenix many hats of a mom blog

Rosé popsicles and 120 degree summers!

Arizona lifestyle blogger many hats of a mom

garage east Arizona blogger

Arizona food blogger many hats of a mom blog

It’s a gazillion degrees in Phoenix. I won’t sit here and give you that sob story, but once it reaches 120 degrees (like it did last Tuesday), I can’t help but wonder why I live here. It’s actually funny, I went to happy hour last week and it felt like a ghost town. No one was out. No one was walking around. But, there we were, two girls catching up over Rosé Popsicles at Garage East. Sometimes even a horrible heat wave can’t keep you away from good friends and cocktails.

Date night at Mora Italian in Phoenix

mora Italian phoenix mom blog

mora Italian phoenix mom blog

Have you been to Mora Italian? If not, get yourself a reservation, grab a date and go! It’s remarkable. If you’re a foodie, this restaurant will not disappoint. Ryan and I went on Saturday for a pre-anniversary dinner (9 years!). As we were sitting at the bar waiting for our table, the server brought over a pizza with a poached egg (it wasn’t ours) but I wanted it so badly. Right behind us another server was preparing freshly baked bread as a side dish, table side, and the scent of fresh bread was heavenly.

Everything at this restaurant was amazing – from the atmosphere to the service to the cuisine. I can’t recommend this place enough. Plus, I had this handsome guy by my side. Between him and the salted caramel dessert, it was an amazing night out.

What Real Life Looks Like

I’m so over all of the perfect family photo floating around Instagram. That. is. not. real. This is what real mom life looks like. You know, just trying to get a photo of my family but Nolan refuses to wear pants (I have to sneak into his room at night and put pajama pants on him so he won’t freeze) and Colton has so much energy that I wish I could bottle it up and use it for myself. Kelsey loves giving me attitude, rolling her eyes and making me feel like I am a mother to a teenager. But, at the end of the day, I love them so incredibly much and sometimes (just sometimes) they look at me and smile. Other times, it goes a little something like this.

mom-life-many-hats-mom-blog

mom-life-many-hats-mom-blog

mom-life-many-hats-mom-blog

mom-life-many-hats-mom-blog mom-life-many-hats-mom-blog

The cutest little boutique that ever was

phoenixfashionstores- mom blog

phoenixfashionstores- mom blog

phoenixfashionstores- mom blog

Have you been into T.Madison before? It’s a darling little shop on Chandler Blvd and it has so many cute trinkets. The merchandising alone is reason enough to swing by. Plus, it’s located inside FOUND, a super cute furniture store, so you kind of get two-for-one. I had about 45-minutes of free time yesterday so I swung by the shop and picked up Kelsey’s birthday present (well, one of them). A little, dainty gold necklace with a faux diamond. It’s perfect because on February 10th (the day after her birthday) she’s going to a Daddy/ Daughter dance at her school. I hope she’ll want to wear her new necklace. And if not? I’ll take it for myself. ha!

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

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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!

MacDonald’s Ranch 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

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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

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!