Local Love: A New Blow Dry Bar and the new Pizzeria Bianco

Years from now, it’s possible that the blow dry bar will be hailed as one of the greatest luxury developments of our time. Remember when they invented sliced bread? Yes, you could do it yourself, but it makes such a mess. Blow-drying your own hair? Same ending (with a lot of extra sweat and frizz.) In this case, $35 brings a LOT of joy.

I live in prime blowout real estate. There’s a drybar in one direction, and the Blow Dry Bar by Kimberly in another. Today, Kimberly Robson is opening a second location near the Scottsdale Quarter.


When I leave, my hair looks like this:


and this:

Big smiles, all around. Find these hair goddesses here.  (At the Lincoln location, ask for Stephen. He’s my man.) Above photo by Allison Tyler Jones Photography.


Second set of important news: there’s also a new Pizzeria Bianco open at Town and Country on 20th Street and Camelback in Phoenix. In the space that Bianco used to call Italian Restaurant, there’s now Pizzeria Bianco in front, and Trattoria Bianco in back.

The most important part: Ty and I went last night, and THERE WAS NO WAIT. We sat down at the bar, ordered icy Cokes in glass bottles, and had the Wiseguy and the Sonny Boy pizzas in front of us within 20 minutes.


This is my favorite thing to eat in Phoenix:

It’s also pretty inside. Bianco is all about the vintage find. I wish he’d take me shopping with him, or let me do it for him.

His father’s paintings are all around.

And have the chocolate Italian Ice for dessert. We love it so much that I tried to replicate it here. (Pretty close, my friends. Pretty close.)

By |2013-05-11T08:27:56-07:00May 11th, 2013|Style|0 Comments

Go There: Frances Holiday Shop

I wandered into the Frances Pop-up Holiday Shop in Phoenix over the weekend, found myself in Christmas wonderland. You’ll all want to visit immediatement.  It’s piled with old-fashioned ornaments, glitter-covered bristle trees, and gingerbread heaven. (Also, the GOOD candy canes, from Hammond’s.) Find it in the same stripmall as Frances on Central and Camelback in Phoenix. I found a wreath that reminded me of my Granna and the one that used to hang in her hallway. Thank you, Frances, for that memory of her.



This would be a mercury glass ANCHOR ornament. My nautical leanings are tempted.


The best candy canes from Hammond’s, and they come in many colors. (I bought white, because I’m insane like that.) Try the ones filled with chocolate, which Tyson’s mom turned me onto. Hammond’s is in Denver, near T’s home town.





The wreath that I found and love:

Again, Frances is at 10 W. Camelback Road in Phoenix, on the northwestern corner of Camelback and Central.


By |2012-12-11T07:02:42-07:00December 11th, 2012|Style|3 Comments

Local love: the Black Friday/Small Business Saturday edition

Where to spend and save at local shops and restaurants this weekend:

Black Friday means 20% off everything at Modern Manor, one of the best midcentury modern stores ever — and it’s here in Phoenix on the 7th Avenue strip. That rocking chair. Cusswords.

Small Business Saturday works like this: register your American Express card, use it to spend $25 at a participating business, and get $25 back from Amex. It’s like free money. Some of my favorite haunts are on the list. (LOCAL STORES: if you’re on the list, leave a comment below so my readers can find you! The Amex site is not navigable for the impatient.)

Use your card to have dinner at The Parlor, where Tyson and I love to sit in the old beauty parlor chairs at the chef’s bar and share the chopped salad.

On the AMEX list: Design*Lab, where $25 will be easy and fun. This store is such happy doom.

Go on a ribbon/vintage decor AMEX spree at Melrose Vintage.

Antique Gatherings on 36th Street and Indian School is my favorite antique store in town, and where I find all of my best Christmas gifts. I can spend $25 on AMEX the second I walk through that door.

*Lastly, REstyle Source is rewarding people for shopping small. If you visit a local store or restaurant this weekend, post a picture to Instagram, tag #REstyleSource in your pic, and you could win a $50 gift card to that store. I’m into that!

(Don’t forget to follow @REstyleSource on Instagram to win.)



P.S. I helped them with this cute video. Happy shopping!


By |2012-11-23T07:52:03-07:00November 23rd, 2012|Travel|1 Comment

New shop alerts: Restoration Hardware and The French Bee

Restoration Hardware just opened a new three-level temple at the Scottsdale Quarter. I attended the opening party with friends and dreamed about pulling an all-nighter  — as in they’d find me in the corner bedroom in the morning, pretending I belonged. Also newly ensconced in fancypants digs at 32nd Street and Camelback Road: my beloved French Bee, a decor boutique that feels like a Parisian hotel (and sells the best silk floral arrangements in the country — which is why Michael Hansen is going global as we speak). A look inside both:

The chandeliers at RH are just cruel.

Fashion writer Corbin Chamberlin and me, working the black. (My dress is here.)

Also in attendance: the man in the Restoration Hardware catalog, chairman Gary Friedman. I curtsied. (And Jan Bracamonte, can you please print that sweet introduction on business cards? I’m still smiling about it.)

The chandeliers were killing me. I wonder how many chandelier Gary Friedman has in his house.

And meanwhile, at The French Bee, which has moved to 32nd Street and Camelback next to Delux, Molina, NOCA, and Safeway, there are Chanel boxes.

Dear Tyson: PLEASE?

It’s a sprawling, gorgeous, store. Go visit.


By |2012-11-12T07:15:54-07:00November 12th, 2012|Style|1 Comment

Localove: UNION now open at Biltmore Fashion Park

Imagine mini versions of the best local boutiques complete with a bicycle shop, a whoopie pie window, and a custom parfumerie, and that’s UNION — a thoughtful, cutting-edge co-op that opens today at Biltmore Fashion Park. There’s a restaurant, a newsstand, dress shop, an outpost of Queen Creek Olive Mill, even a Royal Coffee bar. I went to the opening bash last night and watched as the stylish set around town lapped it up. Bravo, Lew Gallo: what an idea. Would you like to see inside?

UNION is Arizona-centric right down to the salvaged wood interiors and the restaurant manager: Lisa G., who used to make beloved meatballs at her restaurant on 7th St. Lew Gallo and Macerich made sure of that. Lew’s shop, For the People, is where I plan to buy many Christmas gifts, including this killer gray leather pig. (Isn’t Lew debonair?)

One of the best things: cloud vases from ASU professor and local artist Sam Chung, also at For the People.

Paris Envy has moved here from 7th Avenue — and wait until you see co-owner Jason Moore’s handmade chandeliers. They were my find of the night.

The Willows Home & Garden is here in miniature:

Smeeks has moved here now, too — candy and novelties galore.

A small version of Frances, in the house, where I liked this sign and these killer padlocks:

Citrine is a beauty bar where you can learn about natural makeup, find my favorite perfume in the world, or create your own.

There’s a British bicycle shop, where the handles and seats are leather-wrapped. Go just to see the basket collection.

I loved the Bonafide menswear boutique – from the folks behind The Clotherie:

Oh, those whoopie pies. You want the pumpkin.

The fantastically named sunglass boutique, Me Myself and Eye:

Pretty patio:

Customatic comes from local architects who build chess sets and make interesting things — look at this booth closely.

There’s even a newsstand and a card shop — all the good bits that we love in those rare, hard-to-find places called bookstores:

UNION is at Biltmore Fashion Park on 24th Street and Camelback, near Stingray Sushi.

Also opening today: Restoration Hardware’s three-story temple at the Scottsdale Quarter. Photos to come from last night’s opening gala.

By |2012-11-09T09:46:02-07:00November 9th, 2012|Travel|2 Comments

Localove: Federal Pizza opened Monday on Central Ave.

One of the first customers at the new Federal Pizza, now open in a historic building on Central: Nancy Beadle, the widow of famous architect Al Beadle, who designed the building where pizza is now being served. Nancy stopped by to scope the place out and the staff ran out to greet her once she gave up her name, said Federal co-owner Craig DeMarco. She told DeMarco she was excited, but he said he and his staff were more awestruck than she.

Those Beadles – kind of a big deal.

Also a big deal in Phoenix right now: finding adaptive use for important, historic buildings instead of tearing them down. Federal used to be a bank, hence the name. The owners are dedicated to finding new uses for old things. (These are the genies behind Postino and Windsor, as well.) And now let’s talk about the pizza, which has brussels sprouts on top, and is fantastic.

I’ll tell you right now: this year’s trendy food thing is brussels sprouts. They’re everywhere. And toasted marshmallow, too, which is also on the menu at Federal Pizza,but we’ll come back to that.

On day one, the Federal Pizza room was crowded, even before 7 p.m.

The place has a sweet midcentury swank working on its behalf: vintage lamps, orange booths, collected melamine teacups, and vintage salt and pepper shakers. And all that fantastic Beadle architecture to admire. (Notice the clerestory windows and the pillars they connect to, over which I marveled all night.)

I was very impressed by this mural painted by a local artist. It looks like quotation marks, which any journalist especially loves. Restaurants by Craig and Kris DeMarco and Lauren and Wyatt Bailey are always visual feasts.

I could spend many happy hours on this patio — thankfully, it’s in my hood.

Food: all of the pizzas were created by MJ Coe,  master of MJ Bread and husband of Tammie Coe. The crust tastes like MJ, which  means good. We inhaled those brussels sprouts, and the corn coins coated in fennel, herbs, and pecorino cheese.

They even serve wine coolers in mini bottles — flavors like grapefruit ginger and strawberry rhubarb.

And, of course, toasted marshmallow for dessert. This time, it’s on top of chocolate pudding and an Oreo crust. And it comes in a Mason jar, of course.

Federal Pizza is at 5210 N. Central in Phoenix. Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. 602-795-2520.

By |2012-10-23T05:21:28-07:00October 23rd, 2012|Travel|4 Comments

Localove: Lynne Bonnell’s Parade of Souls Art Show (like Pinterest, except already done)

Arizona Halloween decor freaks: you will need to reconsider your Saturday immediately. Lynne Bonnell — the original velvet pumpkin queen and local creative legend — is appearing with 12 of her cohorts at the first “Parade of Souls” Halloween arts and crafts show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at a home in Paradise Valley. Details here.

I got wind of this when a note from Lynne showed up on my doorstep along with her handmade felted wool acorns. (She’s a caring friend. She knows about the black and white.)

The acorns will be at the sale, along with about 63 other things that seem like Pinterest come to life. Lynne let me come over to sigh and exclaim and curse and marvel over the things she has made to bring. Sneak peek, part one:


Lynne calls these “50 Shades of Gray Pumpkins.” I hope you take time on Saturday to talk to her, because when I hang out with her I nearly get in car wrecks from laughing.

Come back tomorrow for part two. Yes, there’s more.

Learn about the other  artists of Parade of Souls here. I love these pumpkin dolls by Olivia Thomas:



By |2012-10-11T05:40:17-07:00October 11th, 2012|Style|0 Comments

A Party at Prada, and three weekend ideas (free cake!)

Prada Scottsdale hosted a chic soiree last night to celebrate its opening and the return of the Valley’s shopping weather. The invitations were gold-rimmed, the waiters were all male models, and even Larry Fitzgerald turned up. I went full-scale-delusional-autumnal-outfit: tights, boots, a dress, and a silk blouse. That’s hot, my friends, in the least lovely way possible. Also: I’m so sorry I didn’t take a photo of the waiters. (Yum, with apologies to my fiance.) Here’s a peek inside the very pretty-peopled party,  and keep reading for a new restaurant and book to try — plus free Tammie Coe cake today:

I had big eyes for the Prada jewelry collection. And the furs.

I’ve been stalking these sunglasses for months. They make me feel like Audrey Hepburn standing on Fifth Avenue with coffee and a croissant. Ah, the stories we let the movies tell us about ourselves.

My friend Britony, in the best necklace of the night.

Above: great shoe-watching. Below: the stylish girls of The Agency AZ — Margaret Merritt, right, Ginger Murphy, at left, and local Kelly Mittendorf, the worldwide face of Prada, in the center. Kelly just flew back from London fashion week. Ahem.

Ginger has a fantastic fashion blog and is a dear friend. It was her idea to take the above photos of shoes – thanks, pony!

I love this studded, beaded collar SO much.

Prada’s new boxes are baby pink and gold.  I want enough to fill my entire closet.

Sales from the evening benefitted Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Puddinn’ took the opportunity to see about a new handbag and some smoking slippers that I am going to steal from her closet in the night.

The store is now open in Scottsdale Fashion Square. Go and say hello – but do not take the last pair of my sunglasses, OK? And now to the weekend …


Local birthday cake goddess Tammie Coe is having her own birthday on Tuesday. To celebrate, she’s giving out free birthday cake to everyone else today — and this isn’t just any other cake, my friends. It’s Tammie’s crack cake, which she says is her “most favorite dessert of all time . . . It is a flourless chocolate cake with a chocolate custard that tastes like ice cream.”

The first time I tried it, my eyes rolled back in my head and I said naughty words. Get your free cake today at both Tammie Coe locations: the studio on 40th Street and Campbell in Arcadia and the cafe on 7th Avenue and Roosevelt downtown.


I’m a chef stalker, and Matt Carter is one of my most beloved targets. He’s the man behind The Mission and Zinc Bistro. His latest just opened this week: The House, a brasserie in Old Town Scottsdale with Mediterranean overtones that is just so pretty. I’m excited to try roasted Jidori chicken, wood grilled crab legs, butterscotch pudding (yessss) and caramel apple upside down cake. Sit outside – because tomorrow is the FIRST DAY OF FALL!


I’m an Ian McEwan fan, and his new novel Sweet Tooth is reputed to be among his best. It’s also about readers, and words, and I’m besotted already because I stumbled onto this quote from the book in a review:

“My mother told me she would never forgive me and she would never forgive herself if I went off to read English and became no more than a slightly better housewife than she was.”

The book follows the story of Serena, a student at Cambridge in the ’70s who joins a spy operation and falls in love with a writer, seduced by his words.

I’ll be spending Sunday in virtual London, in love.

By |2012-09-21T08:16:46-07:00September 21st, 2012|Style|2 Comments

Phoenix Localove: Nocawich and Crudo

Eventually we are going to get to this, to a sandwich so glorious it doesn’t matter that we Phoenicians live in hell.

But first, a communal whine — Oh, Ughust-in-Arizona, I hate you.

Let’s focus on the good: in Phoenix, we have Nocawich, and that means exquisite sandwiches with oozy cheese and warm bacon and bread someone else has slathered and toasted and sliced. And when all of you non-Arizonans come to visit in the winter, you should go here and praise the Gods you aren’t here right now.


Tyson took me for a Saturday lunch, and I think that’s a fine way to spend your steamy Saturday. There is air conditioning at Noca, and a nice woman who pours Diet Coke into iced glasses.

I had the Cisco Kid — turkey, cranberry, bacon. Ty had the Meyer Lansky, featuring a pile of insane pastrami. He didn’t talk during the entire meal.

Nocawich is inside Noca, one of Phoenix’s favorite gourmet hotspots, and sandwiches are served Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Don’t forget the baked potato salad.

Another new Phoenix gem to try this weekend: Crudo, which my friend Howie Seftel at the paper raaaaaaaved about. Howie is our longtime restaurant critic, and he gets very cute when he’s excited. I swear he grows a foot taller. Read his praise here. And then make a reservation. Crudo is on 36th St. and Indian School in Phoenix. Also: it’s pretty inside, and there is frshly pulled mozzarella with caramelized onion and bacon relish. Oh, my.



Mmmm. Gnocchi.

Where are you going this weekend? Anything exciting that I need to try?


By |2012-08-10T06:38:54-07:00August 10th, 2012|Travel|3 Comments

Localove: Anthro-inspired cuteness from Diana Elizabeth and La Ricki

Do you read wedding blogs? I peruse a few — and not because I am planning a wedding. (When I’m ready, it’s planned: me, the Mr., an Italian coast, and vows taken in a romance language. Grazie, amore, indeed.) I love wedding blogs for all the ideas that translate to sweet parties at home. LocalsDiana Elizabeth and La Ricki teamed up on this inspiration session: vintage typwriters and pies. I’m thinking late-May soiree. See the whole thing here. (And here’s a tip I noticed: Ms. Ricki makes really cute cake plates out of vintage saucers, and sells those and some of her party supply creations in Scottsdale at Jam.)

By |2011-05-17T13:45:43-07:00May 17th, 2011|Parties|3 Comments


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