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Scottsdale

Jace & Me, Scottsdale

Parfaits for breakfast

thumb_IMG_6520_1024We recently stayed at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge for my work banquet. The first night we took Jace and had a party in the room. Jace slept in between us all night, in the big fancy King size hotel bed. We woke up to a little boy staring at us and then giving us big kisses. Rob wanted to stay in bed a little longer, so Jace and I got up and I made us parfaits to enjoy on the balcony! It was so fun having Jace to myself! I say this only because the minute Rob is up, it’s Daddy and Jace time. And Mom (me) sort of floats to the background. So moments when I have Jace to myself are really special to me. It’s then I can have all of his attention! So, we ate our parfaits on the balcony while it still wasn’t too hot and sticky out and watched the activity down below. I also flipped through the latest issue of Highroads with my coffee .. I guess it was a relaxing morning for myself as well!

thumb_IMG_6516_1024 thumb_IMG_6517_1024 thumb_IMG_6521_1024 thumb_IMG_6522_1024 thumb_IMG_6523_1024thumb_IMG_6526_1024thumb_IMG_6525_1024(By the way … our Cabo vacation is only 4 months away, so I was beyond thrilled to see the Other Side of Baja feature in the July/August issue of Highroads!)

Scottsdale

Cafe Monarch

IMG_5840My man turned the big 3-1 this past weekend. And because it also fell on Father’s Day this year, I had to split up the celebrating between the two days. So on Saturday, I took Rob out to a semi-fancy dinner. Got a babysitter (thanks Pam!), did the driving and surprised him with a magnificent restaurant choice. I heard about Cafe Monarch from a local Arizonan at work and immediately made us reservations. A four-course meal, complete with Amuse Bouche, a summer salad, choice of select entrees and choice of desserts. Every other week they change out their menu. Fortunately, our menu had filet and rib eye as entree options and of course we went for it. I can’t tell you enough how incredible this place was. I mean, look at all of their awards! So romantic and so delicious. We sat on the back patio and with the shade, misters, palms, green vines, candles and mood music..  the suns setting.. I didn’t even know I was in Arizona, sitting in 112 degree weather. We felt like we were sitting in a cafe in Europe. Service was excellent and the wine choices with our meats were on point. Every bite and sip was delightful. Mouth-watering. You know it’s good when we’re smiling and laughing at how much we spend to eat really amazing food. The monarchs and bird cage accents all around added just the right amount of charm. We’ll definitely be going back.

IMG_5850IMG_5839IMG_5841IMG_5845IMG_5846Ordered “The Monarch” to start with – gin with a cosmopolitan twist.

IMG_5843IMG_5849IMG_5852I love this man so much. I could stare at him all day. Sort of like Jace, ha. He’s starting to get a little gray around his temples, and taller it seems like?! We had the best night talking about our now toddler and jobs and life in Arizona. It’s really so cool to be going through life with someone, to see the change in the years on our faces and in our memories.  There is no one else I’d want to grow old(er) with. In case you’re looking for a little bit of birthday wisdom, Rob was full of it. In Rob’s words, as we get older, we finally realize how precious time is. That it’s the most expensive thing we could ever own. And more importantly, because it’s so valuable, we need to choose wisely with what we do with it. With who we spend time and with who we give our time away to. Any way, some food for thought. Happy Birthday my handsome husband!

IMG_5853IMG_5854IMG_5858They put a sparkler on his raspberry cheesecake and gave us an Owl wine-topper! Um, you had me at free wine-topper.

IMG_5865The one picture we get of me of course looks like this… no peach crepe to show, and half blurry, not looking, taking a sip of coffee. It’s helpless.

Activities for Kids, Scottsdale

Music class at the MIM

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Now that Jace is getting harder and harder to entertain, I’ve been trying to up my parenting by planning more engaging activities for him. The girls at my new office were raving about the MIM, the Musical Instrument Museum so I quickly looked into it. It’s the only one in the country, so it’s quite the outing! It’s actually been voted as Phoenix’s #1 attraction. And even more,  they have music classes for kids of all ages, called MIMKids. I immediately registered us for The MIM Music Makers — 30 minutes of song, instruments and dance from around the world with baby and toddlers. It was ridiculously fun!! Jace didn’t know what to think at first, but once all the babies started giggling and pounding on the drums he jumped right in. He was mesmerized by the instructor’s beautiful voice; she sang songs from countries from all over the world. We danced, we played with scarves, we rattled. We sang hello to everyone and at the end we sang goodbye. And Jace kept his hands to himself and didn’t aggressively hug anyone so it was a total win. The rest of the day he kept banging on things like a drum, and swaying back and forth to any little bit of music. What a cutie. Rob and I would love to book a babysitter and go back for the full MIM experience. I know Rob would have loved to go through the Beyond the Beat exhibit; me, too! No matter what, I’m definitely going to plan more music classes for Mr. Jace. He loved it!

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Family, Projects, Scottsdale

The Brush Bar

Us Joy ladies got our paint on in Scottsdale last weekend while I was in town. We had such a blast. The whole paint and wine night has really caught on in the Phoenix area. Surely you’ve heard of it or have a brush bar of some kind near you! My sister and I wanted to do something special with my Mom while I was home, so we booked a morning date at the Brush Bar in Scottsdale for some mimosas and hawaiian flowers. We couldn’t stop smiling while we painted and took in the atmosphere. Pretty sure we’re going to go back over the holiday. My mom definitely did the best. She has some mad blending skills ;)

 

{momma Joy}

 

{seester!}

 

 

 

 

{we were pretty proud of our finished hawaiian flowers}
Scottsdale

Missing the Arizona sky

With it being so chilly here this summer, I must admit that I really miss the warmth and humidity of the monsoons in Arizona this time of year, and most of all, the sky. Especially during a storm, the Arizona sky looks like it’s on fire. So many purples and pinks. It’s beautiful. If you’ve never seen an Arizona sunset, you really need to.