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

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

So long, August. Things to see, buy, try this Labor Day weekend.

This morning, I woke at my usual hour to darkness instead of the sun. I pushed back the sheets, stood up, looked out the window at the silhouettes of palm trees, and grinned.

There was the suggestion of autumn in that new morning darkness.

Au revoir, August, you hateful beast. It’s Labor Day weekend, and I’m going to spend it stalking pumpkins, buying a sweater, putting polka dots all over my laundry room and celebrating with friends. Here are plans to inspire your own:

PUMPKIN WATCH: Tyson took me to the Chino Farms stand on our last day in San Diego, and there were pumpkins piled all over. I bought one and it rests on my counter now, a beacon of autumnal joy.

PROJECT: I love Joy Cho’s simple contact-paper polka dot walls. I ordered silver metallic paper to add dots to my boring white laundry closet. I’ll show you how it goes.

Oh, and I also have to clean out the garage. Who wants a coffee table? I have four.

BUY: Marni and I have a girls’ retreat planned and I want to bring home this BCBG sweater as a souvenir from our shopping trip, $148. I love all the color-blocking for fall, and I love it best in my signature shades.

SEE: Sundays are sofa days in our house, and I plan to finish watching Les Bien-Aimes — a new French indie film I snagged from On Demand, where it is listed as “Beloved,” unfortunately calling to mind the Toni Morrison-Oprahfest from a few years back. This film is set in Paris, stars Catherine Deneuve, and opens with a long montage inside the Roger Vivier shoe store. (Picture copious close-ups of pink satin pumps.)  There can’t be anything more you need to know. Oh, the wardrobe is FANTASTIC.

GO: Local legend and shop FOUND is reopening after its summer hiatus. Kristin and Dan Alber inspire and excite me every time I’m in their space. Behold, the new goodies:

What are your weekend plans? I’m also trying to decide how to torture my pumpkin this year. Glitter? Paint? Studs? Fishnet stockings? Any requests? I’ll take them.



By |2012-08-31T06:56:26-07:00August 31st, 2012|Style|1 Comment

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

Mark and Angela’s Historic Phoenix home

My friends Mark and Angela live in a 1937 Phoenix abode. In Arizona, that’s prehistoric.

Here’s a little sneak peek inside, courtesy of the Republic’s talented photog Michael McNamara:

I know. You kind of want to hate her, don’t you? Except she’s lovely from head to polished toe, and lets her friends try on her shoes.

The kitchen windowsill:

Dining room. (Yes, you have seen photos of many wonderful parties in this very room.)

















You should know that this bouquet is made of fresh raspberries, on the branch, just ripening.

See the entire slideshow here.. I didn’t even show you the guest house, kitchen, pool, or freestanding shower imported from England. It’s heaven.


By |2012-01-02T20:36:36-07:00January 2nd, 2012|Style|1 Comment

The post in which we all gain five pounds

I hope you’re hungry.

One, it’s Arizona Restaurant Week. The girls and I are going to Beckett’s Table. T and I have French-themed plans. My friend and fellow reporter Richard Ruelas has already been to Petite Maison (below)and brought rave reviews to work this morning. Also good ideas: Binkley’s (if you can get in), Christopher’s, Citizen Public House, Vincent’s, House of Tricks.  Mangia, mangia — you have through Saturday night.

Two, a happy date night discovery: Chris Bianco’s sandwich haven — Pane Bianco on Central — is now serving those killer Pizzeria Bianco pies. We ventured in at 7 p.m., shared a wood-roasted appetizer plate, a pizza with pistachios on top, and chocolate Italian ice.

(And if you didn’t know, Pizzeria Bianco is now open for lunch, and on Mondays, so 11-10 pm almost every single day, and THERE IS ALMOST NO LINE. Yes. Glorious.) Pane closes at 8 p.m., pizza for dinner only. While you’re there: buy some of Chris Bianco’s gorgeous canned tomatoes to make sauce at home. He drew the label’s letters. His dad painted the tomatoes. This is a man who believes in handmade things. (Photo courtesy Carrie at Cracking Good, one of my favorite Phoenix reads.)

Three, and you really do NOT want to know this, but Tammie Coe is now making and serving maple bacon scones on Saturdays. Yes, that’s right: buttery scones, filled with bacon bits, and a maple glaze on top.  Also . . . that’s just the beginning.

Also on Tammie’s menu these days: Crack Cake, named for good reason. It’s basically a truffle in the shape of a kit-kat bar, and I will be serving these svelte (hah) little sticks on top of scoops of store-bought ice cream for all future parties. I can’t make anything that tastes better. They have them right now at the Roosevelt Street shop, just in case you need one immediately.

Also this:

I haven’t had one yet, but I’ve heard the Buddha Bar legend from people who know how I feel about marshmallows. And Butterscotch. And evil.

So, yeah. I need to go find some lunch now. The salad I planned sounds sad indeed. And this, my friends, is why one should never blog at lunchtime.

By |2011-09-19T18:05:10-07:00September 19th, 2011|Travel|2 Comments

Localove: New Restaurants Windsor and Churn

North Central is getting oh-so-lovely on the restaurant front: we have our own Postino, our own Vig, and now two new hotspots in the making from Postino braniac Craig DeMarco.

Yes, indeed. Windsor, a restaurant (pictured above), and Churn, an ice cream and sweet cafe (below), are housed in a 1940’s building on Central — just across from the new Postino and bordering Windsor Square.

I dropped in this morning to ogle the killer decor, have a treat, and am looking forward to future nights on the patios with cheddar fondue, hamburgers, peanut butter ice cream and friends.

Windsor has a vintage reclaimed vibe with speakeasy flair. Also: an entire wall made from cassette tapes that you must see.



Up close:



This art made me laugh, because for all my love of France, sometimes I hate French cooking, too.



And now, Churn: think homemade ice cream, homemade peanut brittle, scones and muffins and blackberry buttermilk cakes all made in house. Also: old fashioned candies in bags and bins. It’s next door to Windsor, perfectly placed for dessert.




Really cute doors and walls:


There’s a sprawling patio for both Windsor and Churn out back. I wish I’d spent the last month there.

Also, look what they found: Fruit Stripe gum.

Windsor and Churn are at 5223 N. Central Ave., Phoenix — just north of Camelback.

By |2011-05-06T13:50:28-07:00May 6th, 2011|Travel|2 Comments


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