Something mothers can really appreciate on Mother’s Day is time away from the usual house chores, cooking and cleaning. However our families can make it happen, we long for a day where there are no dishes or clothes to wash, hand prints on the stainless steel appliances, toothpaste smudged on the counter tops and backpacks dropped in the walkways. Dads are often charged with making something happen on Mother’s Day especially when the children are young. Cookies, flowers, candies and cards will be flying off the shelves this week in preparation for Mother’s Day this coming Sunday, May 12th. But, if you are anything like me, a day at the spa is nice and so are flowers but homemade gifts and sharing special times with the children are even more desirable. I’d like to spend quality time having fun with my kids and make a mess that is not in my kitchen or my house that I will later clean up.
In light of our Mother’s Day wish that messes will magically disappear that day, I thought I’d share a few events around Phoenix where kids can make homemade gifts or share time in the kitchen with no mess for mom to clean up. Here is a list of some activities scheduled in Phoenix that kids can enjoy one on one with mom or the entire family.
Mother’s Day may not be the only day you are looking for something to do with your children either, Although, it is an important one. It is difficult when everyone has their own lives and such busy schedules to make one on one time together. Another site worth visiting that has suggestions on all sorts of activities for kids, in Phoenix, or wherever you may be is Kid Pep. Kid Pep lists a variety of activities for families with children and it’s not just limited to the Phoenix area. It’s a resource you can refer to if you are traveling or perhaps we’ve captured a reader that is out of state.
From all of us at SmartFem.com, we wish you a beautiful, loving and relaxing Mother’s Day 2013.
Locations throughout Phoenix Valley
AJ’s through-out the valley will be holding their Little Chefs Club event on Saturday, May 12th. Each AJ’s will coordinate its own activity so you will need to check with your local store for times and the specific activity. In the past, Little Chefs Club has decorated Mother’s Day cookies and made tiered cookie cakes. There have also been events where children made heart shaped pizzas and cute homemade cards.
Scottsdale Fashion Center and Kierland locations
Sur La Table in Scottsdale Fashion Square and Kierland offer cooking classes all month long. On Sunday, May 12th, both stores will be holding a Mommy & Me Bake: Cupcakes class beginning at 11:00 am. The cost is $35 per person and children ages 5 and up can attend the event. This is well worth it as your little chef can frost to his heart’s content and the mess stays behind. Space is still available and you can register for the event on line at the Sur La Table website.
35 N Robson, Mesa
Children ages 6-12 are invited to make a unique recipe holder and a lovespoon for their mother. The class is scheduled for one hour and begins at 10:30 am on Sunday, May 12th. General admission to the museum is required and this special class is an additional $13. Following the class, families can spend the remainder of the morning and afternoon in the museum.
Locations throughout Phoenix valley
On Mother’s Day, As You Wish Pottery is holding a special event where mothers and toddlers can paint together and create a ceramic plate. Refreshments will be served in the shops and you can spend as much time as you like working on your masterpiece. The cost for the event is $25. Remember the pieces do have to be fired so you will come back the following week to pick up your completed art work.
Locations throughout Phoenix valley
Every other Saturday, Lowe’s holds a kids craft workshop. You will need to check your local Lowe’s store to confirm times as they may vary slightly throughout the valley. Most workshops begin at 10:00 am. This Saturday, May 11th, children work with a Lowe’s specialist to create a lovely heart shaped box for their beloved mothers.
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Elements is nestled into the north slope of Camelback Mountain with a beautiful view of the iconic Praying Monk rock formation. Elements is one of those places where even if the food was not good, you would want to come back for the view. Fortunately, their food is exceptional so this one is a win! As a matter of fact, their food is so good that Howard Seftel, a well-known Phoenix restaurant critic, recently published an article on Azcentral.com where he commented “Chef Beau MacMillan’s fare is among the Valley’s best”. Seftel added Elements to his personal wish list to participate in Phoenix Devoured 2014. We will have to wait and see if that recommendation gets Executive Chef MacMillan of Elements to highlight his culinary creations at the event next year. He has been featured on the Food Network and is an Iron Chef America winner. This is one successful and busy chef.
Elements graces The Sanctuary, which is a boutique resort with Asian accents and a chic contemporary style. When you dine at Elements. overlooking their vanishing edge pool, palms, and lush gardens, you will leave the bustle of surrounding Phoenix behind. Elements provokes a sense of escape where you will feel as if you flew away to an exclusive resort destination. For those who come to visit Phoenix, that is exactly what the property is.
Chef MacMillan prepares culinary delights with fresh fish, beef, lamb and pork. He also has colorful vegetarian options and gluten-free dishes to accommodate his guests dietary preferences. The chef seeks out the best local ingredients, hormone-free meats, sustainable seafood, and organic produce. Over the years they have improved their menu and remodeled adding a private dining room that seats 12 with a distinguished view into the kitchen. An extension was also added off the main dining room that has floor to ceiling folding glass walls that open for a fresh air dining experience.
Elements is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I would vouch they offer the best breakfast in Phoenix. The smoked salmon frittata ($15) is fluffy and served with rich dill crème fraiche. Dining on their patio in the morning, overlooking the pool and mountains is truly an unsurpassable experience. Their breakfast menu and brunch menu is full of delights such as an Asian ratatouille omelet ($14), pumpkin chocolate French toast with cinnamon mascarpone ($14) , and a Belgian waffle with salted caramel, bananas and macadamia nut crunch ($13) These are extraordinary breakfast entrees full of flavor.
Lunches at Elements are light and include salads, wraps, pastas and spa bento boxes. For beef lovers they have a juicy charbroiled Angus beef burger ($15) and a Kobe beef hotdog ($11). It’s not difficult to find a light and healthy entrée and the kitchen is always willing to accommodate special requests. For dinner, try the bacon wrapped filet of beef ($44) or pan seared scallops with minted salad and carrot curry butter ($38). During certain times of the year, an heirloom tomato salad has appeared on the menu that is the best I’ve ever had. A secret I recently stumbled upon was their herb garden. While you pass by the garden at the bottom of the entrance stairs, it’s so easy to miss. Stop and take peek at it. They are growing all sorts of herbs, produce and fresh lettuce. No wonder the flavors of their food are so fresh. They are often picking the herbs just hours before using them.
Last but not least, Elements does a great job on cocktails. They are all made with fresh juices and often incorporate herbs from the garden. You may find a strawberry basil or grapefruit rosemary martini and their cocktails are impeccable. Definitely try the strawberry martini if you are there on a night when it’s on the menu. You will not find an extensive wine list at Elements but you will find the wine list change and there are typically selections from notable wineries.
There really isn’t anything negative to say about Elements. They have consistently delivered heavenly food and attentive service. Whether you are there for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, you will always find Elements to be a romantic and private hide-away with a beautiful view of Paradise Valley and fresh food busting with herbs and natural flavors.
Have you thought about restaurant reservations for Mother’s Day? It’s coming up on Sunday, the 12th of May and we have ideal weather in Phoenix for a delightful afternoon brunch. However, if that’s what you have in mind, don’t wait until the last minute to make your restaurant reservations. Many popular dining establishments in Phoenix are already fully committed for Mother’s Day brunch. While it’s nearly two months away, if you plan to dine out, now is the time to make your reservations. I did some homework and provided some suggestions below for restaurants that still show availability on Mother’s Day and offer something unique, such as a patio or view. Reserve on line using Opentable.com and read more here about the benefits and cash back opportunities of using OpenTable. Please check menus for pricing to ensure the restaurant is within your ideal budget.
Details: 11111 N. 7th Street, Phoenix. 602-866-7500 (reserve online)
A Different Pointe of View sits atop the Tapatio Cliffs in the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. This restaurant is at the highest point of the property and offers breathtaking panoramic views of Phoenix. The menu has a Mediterranean influence and has been serving guests for over 25 years. Tiered seating ensures each guest can relic in the magnificent city view. While the restaurant has been in business for over 25 years, the interior is well maintained and current. While the food doesn’t always compare to other luxury dining establishments in Phoenix, nonetheless, the overall dining experience is enjoyable with an unsurpassed view.
Details: 5700 E. McDonald Drive, Scottsdale. 480-607-2300 (reserve online)
Elements is situated on the north side of Camelback Mountain with spectacular views of Paradise Valley. The restaurant recently underwent a stunning remodel that includes a new dining room, The Praying Monk, where you can enjoy the feel of indoor outdoor dining with open glass walls. The restaurant resides in the boutique Sanctuary Hotel soothing Asian accents and lush gardens. The restaurant offers a beautiful breakfast any day of the week but for Mother’s Day they are sure to add some extraordinary creations. The typical breakfast menu offers some great picks. Try the smoked salmon frittata, pumpkin chocolate French toast or buttermilk pancakes with sea salt better and real maple syrup. No matter where you sit, the view will be gorgeous. Chef Beau MacMillan uses hormone free meats, organic produce and sustainable seafood. They also have vegetarian and gluten-free menu offerings.
Details: 5550 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley. 480-948-5170 (reserve online)
Brunch at El Chorro has been a long standing Phoenix tradition. The restaurant has an expansive patio with fountains and lush vines meandering. For brunch, try their infamous eggs benedict with your choice of beef tenderloin, smoked salmon or Canadian bacon or their crème brulee French toast. Often, holiday brunches will be presented with carving, eggs made to order and dessert stations but this isn’t guaranteed since El Chorro hasn’t posted their menu for Mother’s Day brunch just yet.from within color pots. The menu has a southwestern influence and the restaurant has their own garden where they grow produce and herbs they use in their dishes. El Chorro is famous for their delectable sticky buns and all their brunch entrees are preceded by a basket of the warm soft cinnamon buns.
Details: 4925 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 480-424-6095 (reserve online)
Taggia is tucked away in the FireSky Resort in Scottsdale and offers tranquil patio dining with a wood burning fireplace and overlooking a lagoon with trickling falls. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast and lunch. On holidays, they usually offer a prix fix menu. The menu offers seasonal Italian cuisine and Chef Massimo De Francesca cooks with organic and seasonal ingredients. While this restaurant is a bit rustic, which some may not care for, it is still elegant and the food is consistently rated high. They serve piping hot rustic potatoes with most of their breakfast entrees and their omelets are fluffy and packed full of fresh vegetables and cheeses. Taggia is very kid friendly and an affordable choice for a brunch.
The House at Secret Garden is one of those places that you arrive at and ask yourself “Has this place always been here?” Well it had to be, because the main home on the property was built in 1929. At one point in time it was even a hippie commune. Today, The House at Secret Garden has been transformed into a quaint, and surprisingly affordable, restaurant with outstanding food and service. Offering fresh farm-to-table seasonal cuisine, this restaurant received the award for Best Authentic Arizona Restaurant of 2012 by Phoenix New Times.
There’s a certain air of mystique about the candle lit hacienda that you will sense immediately. Your curiosity will be sparked when you step through the old wooden doors and see the beautiful stair case adorned with Mexican tiles and iron railings. You won’t be able to resist exploring all the areas of this ever so interesting property. The question begs, what’s at the top of those beautiful stairs? Well, I couldn’t resist asking and was informed the restaurant uses it for office space and it’s not open to guests. The House has a patio with outdoor dining that is set far back from the street and is a quiet, tranquil area. The patio is surrounded by flowering trees, a brook, and during the cooler months it’s warmed by an outdoor fireplace and heaters.
The dining room is positively charming and intimate. It’s cozy with soft lighting, rich colored woods and glazed walls. Their creaky wood floors add to the charm. Upon sitting down, you will find yourself eager to discover the menu. The cocktail menu has creative and refreshing features all made with freshly squeezed juices. The wine list is exceptionally thoughtful. The House offers a range of respectable low, mid and high priced bottles and wines by the glass. A detail that speaks a thousand words on the wine list is a Paul Hobbs chardonnay and a Hobbs malbec from Argentina. When you are dealing with smaller wine lists, as opposed to the wine novels offered in some restaurants, and there’s a bottle or two of Paul Hobbs tucked in, no doubt the person who pulled the list together has fine taste in wines.
Salads and starters were beautifully presented. On the menu, is a cheese platter that you can customize by mixing and matching a variety of different cheeses. The platter is accompanied by grilled bread, figs drizzled with balsamic, nuts, olives and golden raisins.
Other starters included seasonal soups, a grilled romaine salad and sweet potato planks served with crème fraiche and pancetta. The happy hour runs daily from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. and there are additional appetizers to choose from on that menu. Happy hour on their serene patio with the outdoor fireplace is sure to be a relaxing end to a busy day. The owner, Pat Christofolo, highly recommends the shrimp and grits, pork belly, polenta fries and pappardelle. Pat shared these are some of the customer favorites. Pat’s son, Dustin, is the chef and co-owner and he is the former chef at The Farm Kitchen at South Mountain. Pat says the restaurant is chef driven and will maintain their focus on seasonal local cuisine.
Main courses are affordable and delivered timely to the table by friendly and polished servers. Portions are just right so you won’t gorge yourself and the flavors of the fresh herbs, cheeses, and vegetables can be distinguished in the dishes. It’s apparent by the overall presentation that the food is prepared with admiration for the customers. For dessert, try the Dried Berry Bread Pudding with cranberries, raisins, almonds tart cherries and bananas. Served with pecan gelato and bourbon maple anglaise, this dessert is divine.
The House at Secret Garden is truly a delight from the charm of the old home to the service, food and affordability. If you haven’t had an opportunity to stop in, definitely do so and make your reservation quickly and easy by going to OpenTable.com. You can expect a delightful evening at The House in a relaxed setting and likely find yourself eager to return.
2501 E. Baseline Rd.
Residents of the Valley rocked the red carpet on the 24th of February at the Camelback Inn. Phoenix guests were treated like movie stars roaming the red carpet. The evening was elegant and fun filled. Rolf’s Salon style lounge was there to ensure that everyone was ready for their close-ups. The event was definitely attended by Phoenix’s A-listers.
ABC15 was the television partner for the evening and ABC news anchor Connie Colla was the hostess of the evening.
Connie’s hair and make-up was done by Rolf’s Salon. She looked elegant and vintage Hollywood. Her gown was so beautiful it was actually auctioned off for the Arthritis Foundation.
The evening was that of a fairy tale as the women in their beautiful ball gowns gathered together to support the Arthritis Foundation as well as view the nominated films. Oscar night generates so much excitement world-wide, but it is refreshing to see Phoenicians come together to enjoy each other and come together as a community to support the amazing philanthropic work right here in Phoenix.
The Arthritis foundation was the charity tied to the Black tie event. Arthritis strikes about 50 million adults and 300,000 children and is the leading cause for disability in this nation.
all photos by SmartFem
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New Year…New Smile…
January is always a time for hope and change — resolutions for self-improvement and doing things differently than the year before. With the best of intentions, we join a gym only to stop going a few months in. We diet but inevitably revert back to our old eating habits and the pounds return. All we want is a new year filled with health & happiness.
One great way to kick off your year with a smile is to whiten your teeth. Teeth whitening has rapidly become one of the most popular cosmetic treatments available. And with the right method, the results will last far longer than your stint at the fitness center or your weight loss. With whiter teeth you will look younger & healthier, feel great about yourself and boost your self-confidence. Maybe that’s the motivation we all need to take on 2013!
As an apartment broker who has been selling apartments in the Metropolitan Phoenix are for the last 20 years, I can think of all the standard answers to why probably 95 percent of my clients have been men. For example, a few contributors might be that it seems apartments are a lot of work as an investment, it is too time consuming, it is too hard; but, being an apartment broker in the Phoenix area, I know that none of those things are true. After I thought about this some more, I realized that I cannot really come up with a true “why” to the fact that a majority of my clients are male.
Apartments can be anything from a duplex or four-plex up to several hundred units at one location in one property. Basically, apartments bring in monthly income from rent and miscellaneous other fees. From this income, the owner/landlord pays the bills for the apartment and the difference, simplified, is profit. The second part of the “apartment as an investment” equation is that where values are rising, like what is currently happening in metro Phoenix, the value of the apartments will increase, offering the investor/landlord, a profit when the property is sold. So, not only does apartment investing bring in monthly income; but also the potential for appreciation when it is sold.
I have many clients in Phoenix that started out buying a small property and through buying and selling and using their profits to buy larger properties, now have several hundred units and strong monthly income. It takes a while, yes, but with the help of an apartment broker and some patience, in the end it is worth the wait.
Four Things you need to Consider Before you Commit to a Commercial Real Estate Lease in Phoenix.
Companies that do not obtain accurate, current market research may pay too high a lease rate on commercial real estate. Landlord’s motivations change with market conditions. Their level of desire to rent to you depends on many factors occurring in their building as well as the market.
2. Inadequate Representation
Lack of knowledge about commercial real estate combined with time pressures can force unrepresented business owners to make location decisions without awareness of ALL their choices and make costly errors that can cut into profits and increase financial exposure. Not having an EXPERIENCED BROKER working only for you may lead to incomplete information or conflicting loyalties.
3. Misunderstanding True Space Costs
Business Owners unfamiliar with the operation of commercial real estate may not be able to determine a true cost comparison of competing lease offers. Deciphering the different types of leases, landlord contributions, and improvement costs needed for your business can get complicated when trying to evaluate the most cost effective move.
4. Not Allowing Enough Time
Even local companies familiar with the Phoenix markets make this most common mistake which leads to further complications. Locating and re-searching possible sites is only the beginning of the relocation process. Often overlooked factors are a) Negotiations with the landlord and lease preparation can take weeks or months; b) After the lease is signed, renovation or finish work can take a month or more and c) Permits for build- out must be issued and bids awarded which can take a month or two. KNOW WHEN YOUR LEASE EXPIRES and CONTACT YOUR BROKER 6 TO 12 months before for a thorough moving plan
Peter McSorley is a professional and experienced Commerical Real Estate Broker with Kasten | Long of Phoenix with 25 years of business experience.
Kasten Long Commercial Group
Make sure you are prepared and equipped when looking for a Commercial Real Estate Lease in Phoenix. Talk to an expert and be prepared.