Posts by: Alanna Watson

Trend Report: It’s in the Bag

June 21, 2012 | 12:00 PM | Her | By Alanna Watson

In need of a wardrobe update? Skip the endless trolling of the mall searching for perfect summer knits and go-with-everything shorts and just find yourself a new bag. You can refresh your look simply by adding a pop of color, an eye-catching pattern or some heavy duty hardware and it’s probably cheaper in the long run. Check out our favorite bags just cool enough for the hottest season after the jump.  »READ MORE

Got Five Bucks? It’s Enough for a Gift

June 20, 2012 | 11:13 AM | Shop & Style | By Alanna Watson

Remember when you were a kid and that crappy adorable card you’d make your parents for whatever gift giving holiday was enough? It had sentimental value and it taught us at such a young age that it really is the thought that counts. Flash forward 20-some years and you realize that illusion has been shattered, but sadly your resources are still that of a five-year-old. Have no fear! Thanks to StumbleUpon, we’ve found 25 handmade gifts for under $5 from blog The 36th Avenue that are a big step up from any jewelry produced with paste and dried pasta. Check out the list and all the tutorials from the website here and be prepared to be amazed. From Quick Bread in a Bottle (pictured) to a set of jersey knit bracelets all the way to tea cup candles, these ideas will save you time and cash when picking out the perfect gift.

New Music Monday: Purity Ring

June 18, 2012 | 8:51 AM | Sound | By Alanna Watson
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Get down with the sounds of Purity Ring before their first full-length album, Shrine, drops next Tuesday. The Canadian duo from Edmonton, AB, are young, talented and seriously about to blow your mind with this single. Enjoy.

DIY Friday: Baseball Bracelet

June 15, 2012 | 9:05 AM | Her | By Alanna Watson

Celebrate America’s favorite pastime by inviting a little piece of patriotic history to your arm party. We found this DIY project on Pinterest by way of blog, Kitty Cotten, and to create your own leather accessory is both simple and cheap, just how we like it. Just find yourself an old baseball, cut  off the leather with a sharp exact-o-knife and pull the leather off the ball, slice around the stitching and then cut to your desired length while leaving the strings long. Then rebraid the stitching, tie off the ends and use a button to fasten for easy fastening. Then you are ready to eat peanuts and crackerjacks with your fancy hand worthy of the Great Bambino all summer long. Check out a pictorial tutorial here.

Oils and Olives (and Deliciousness)

June 14, 2012 | 10:40 AM | Eat & Drink | By Alanna Watson

It would be easy to simply list the reasons why olive you need to check out the newest shop to hit Kierland, Oils & Olives. And no, sadly we didn’t come up with that clever pun on our own, “Thank You From Olive Us” is actually printed right there on the bags as a reminder that the place you just discovered was indeed awesome and you should probably tell your friends to get over there. STAT. From the family that brought you Queen Creek Olive Mill, Arizona’s only working olive oil mill and farm, Oils & Olives carries all of the delicious product you love from the Arizona brand including specialty oils and vinegars, stuffed olives, mouth-watering tapenades and spreads and even chocolate, baked goods, cookbooks and beautiful dishes that allow you to put together the perfect gift, hostess or otherwise, in one fell swoop (with wine coming very soon). The best part? You can actually sample nearly everything in the store to create the perfect combination. If that task seems overwhelming, you can just ask owner/manager, Sydney Rea, or her very knowledgeable staff for a few tips. »READ MORE

Yo Ho Ho and a Trip to Rum Bar

June 13, 2012 | 10:00 AM | Bars | By Alanna Watson

Work week got you down? If the daily grind is taking its toll on your, you know, “you-ness”, it might just be time to take a little trip somewhere more exotic for your nightly happy hour. Don’t fret, you don’t really have to travel far, just to Downtown Phoenix’s Rum Bar for their new ” A-RUM-a Therapy” punch social hour. Every weekday from 5-7 pm, you can now enjoy $5 rum punch and specially priced (delicious) food to help you relax after a tough day. The ever-changing bowl of punch will always feature the best ingredients, the freshest of fruits and the most carefully made concoctions to quench your thirst and relax your mind (as if owner, Dwayne Allen, would have it any other way). You can also look forward to a new menu of summer cocktails that Arizona’s only everyone’s favorite exclusively rum establishment rolled out just last week. Take a peek here  and be sure to take a little time to stop in Rum Bar or neighboring restaurant, The Breadfruit, to eat some authentic Jamaican cuisine and adopt a more Caribbean state of mind, if only for a little while.

Rum Bar l 108 E Pierce St., Phoenix, AZ 8500 l 602 267 1266 

Today’s Object of Desire: Darth Vader Father’s Day Card

June 12, 2012 | 12:00 PM | Him | By Alanna Watson

We think this card pretty much speaks for itself, but you can buy this amazing little gem on Etsy for only $2.99  just in time to give to your pops this Sunday. Sure, Luke may not have deemed ol’ D.V.  “father of the year”, but giving the gift of a laugh to your old man just may put you in the running for the best kid ever.

P.S. We found this card on the website Cool Sh*t You Can Buy and you should check it out. It’s almost as much fun as the #whatshouldwecallme tumblr (just in case you’re looking to waste a little more of your Tuesday). No need to thank us.

Hang With Your Girlfriends, Go For a Nice Dip

June 11, 2012 | 11:00 AM | Eat & Drink | By Alanna Watson

While we’re practically bubbling over with fondue puns, let’s cut to the cheese chase and let you know what Girl’s Night Out at The Melting Pot has in store for you. It’s time to break out all those old bridesmaid dresses – the ones you have buried in the back of your closet along with your skeletons and secret shame – and head on down to one of three Melting Pot locations this week for a wedding themed girl power extravaganza. For just $30 a person, you can enjoy three courses of delicious fondue including creamy cheese served with assorted sliced bread and apples, a petite entrée with a trio of dipping sauces served with shrimp, meats and veggies and (the kicker) a chocolate fondue for dessert that comes with fruit, brownies, cakes and other sweets that are just used as a decoy to eat melted chocolate like you reallywant to when hanging with your bestest mates. Gather your girlfriends and make your way The Melting Pot Ahwatukee on Tuesday, June 12th, The Melting Pot Arrowhead on Wednesday, June 13th and/or The Melting Pot Scottsdale on Thursday, June 14th to relax and unwind. Why? Because it’s Ladies’ Night.



New Music Monday: Morning Parade

June 11, 2012 | 9:00 AM | Sound | By Alanna Watson

It’s no secret that America has always had somewhat of an infatuation with musical acts from across the pond. Whether they come over with a bang and subsequently legions of screaming girls or they sneak over quietly playing small shows and gaining more of a grassroots following, we firmly believe there is always room in the airwaves for a few more instrument wielding Brits.  Currently on the “Naked Feet” tour with indie rockers, Walk the Moon, Morning Parade is about to drop their debut album stateside and the five piece alt-rock group from Essex is anything but quiet. Check out their single, Headlights, and watch for the record out June 19th.

What We’re Loving: Pumped Up Kicks

June 7, 2012 | 1:00 PM | Her | By Alanna Watson

Consider this a continuation of last week’s Sporty Spice trend report because, my fashion-minded friends, our love for the sneaker wedge runs so deep, it deserves its own post. They have all the comfort of your favorite running shoes wrapped up with the style of fashion’s edgiest It girls and, despite their more athletic appearance, these bad boys go with everything. You know that feeling of surprise you get when you see someone in a feminine sundress paired with studded combat boots? Wearing a sneaker wedge is like that, but perhaps more appropriate for the, eh, warmer summer season. Inspire shock and awe with some of our favorite styles after the jump.  »READ MORE

Not Your Mother’s Neiman Marcus

June 4, 2012 | 10:59 AM | Her | By Alanna Watson

For most of us, a trip to Neiman Marcus means one of two things: 1. Someone you’re shopping with wants to go in there and purchase something you probably can’t afford. 2. They’re having an epic sale that allows you to score an amazing Alice + Olivia dress or a perfect pair of Theory pants for next to nothing. Well, prepare yourselves because that is the case no more.

After some major remodeling and a conceptual overhaul of the once slightly stuffy-feeling contemporary department, CUSP has officially arrived and the result is enough to make any fashionista swoon. The in-store boutique, which now encompasses nearly half of the store’s second level, is an amazing one-stop shop for all the latest designers and trends at varying price points that won’t drain your savings with a single swipe. The easy-to-shop and clearly labeled designer sections are accompanied by bold new decor, funkified fitting rooms and an accessories section featuring jewelry, shoes and handbags all curated for the savviest of shoppers. »READ MORE

New Music Monday: The Walkmen

June 4, 2012 | 9:00 AM | Sound | By Alanna Watson

The latest album from indie rock band,  The Walkmen, dropped last Tuesday, but we still can’t get enough of the title track off the band’s seventh studio effort. Check out the official video for “Heaven” and let the music take you away from the fact that it’s Monday.

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Trend Report: Sporty Spice

May 31, 2012 | 10:00 AM | Her | By Alanna Watson

I’ll tell you what we want (what we really, really want) is to be able to walk out public dressed in the season’s “athletic” trend and not look like we just came from the gym. It’s cool that you workout, or whatever, but a post-sweat session shower is 100% necessary and that means so is changing your clothes. So how does one incorporate the sporty style into her wardrobe without looking like she could strike a downward dog pose at any moment? Allow us to help you out with that. Stick with one or two pieces from the trend like a great sneaker wedge or athletic-inspired tank top (Stella McCartney for Adidas, anyone?) in a single outfit. You can even take on the look by exchanging your regular tote for a super-cool convertible backpack. Check out some items we’d sprint a mile to have in our wardrobes after the jump.

image via from Alexander Wang Spring 2012


Best Summer Fests

May 30, 2012 | 9:00 AM | Art & Entertainment | By Alanna Watson

Just because you missed South by Southwest and/or Coachella, that doesn’t mean the fun is over in terms of summer musical gatherings. In fact, we think the best might just be yet to come. Check out our list of the best summer fests still on the horizon just begging for your attendance. Lollapalooza not included simply because it’s already sold out (wah, wahh).

Bonnaroo – We are part of a camp that believes you can never have too much Thom Yorke in your life. This is why making the trek down to Tennessee to see Radiohead headline for Bonnaroo is a trip we deem worthy. You can also see the iconic Beach Boys and the Grammy’s least appreciative “Best New Artist”, Bon Iver, June 7-10th for $259 for four day admission.

Burning Man – While there aren’t technically big musical acts booked to bring in the masses, Burning Man’s community created and executed festival is more of a self-proclaimed “city” than anything else. Resurrected each year in Black Rock Nevada, this “city” brings together people who want to celebrate art, self-expression and self-reliance in a week long adventure. You’ve heard the stories, so mark your calendars for August 27 – September 3. »READ MORE

Today’s Object of Desire: Spin the Bottle (Opener)

May 29, 2012 | 4:05 PM | Shop & Style | By Alanna Watson

It’s late, the night is winding down and maybe you’ve had just a few too many. Now, there are only two things left to accomplish before you can turn in: Call a cab and spin the bottle to see who…..will have to pay the bar tab. Sure, going Dutch is the probably the most practical thing to do, but where’s the fun in that? Thanks to Derek Brahney, Edge Trullinger and Kate Jones, you can make the least enjoyable part of a great night a little more bearable with this “you pay” bottle opener available at Partners & Spade.  Looks like nights are about to get much more interesting.

via Urban Outfitters Blog

Leave Your Calendar Open for Open Air Markets

May 29, 2012 | 9:50 AM | Eat & Drink | By Alanna Watson

If Sundays are for lazing about, then Saturdays should be dedicated to taking the time to stop and smell the fresh produce. Thanks to Phoenix Public Market and many a’ local folk who band their businesses together on a bi-weekly basis, that is a possibility all year long. In case you haven’t ever checked out an Open Air Market in Downtown Phoenix, perhaps the summer is the best time to free up a morning (or evening) and wander about. You can stock up on fresh fruits and veggies from local farmers and chow down on great food from over a dozen vendors while also picking up a few lovely arts and crafts. The markets are held every Saturday from 8 am-12 pm through September and every Wednesday from 4-8 pm so you can get your groceries after work. Don’t forget about the famous “Food Truck Friday”, the Valley’s weekly mini fest of food trucks, as they are still happening every week from 11 am – 1:30 pm. All this goes down at Phoenix Public Market on 14 E. Pierce  in Downtown Phoenix. It’s a great way to get involved with the community and stimulate the local economy during these long, sweaty summer months.

image via 

New Music Monday: Icona Pop

May 28, 2012 | 9:19 AM | Sound | By Alanna Watson

Happy Memorial Day to all. Get this party started with a new tune from Sweden’s Icona Pop entitled “I Love It.” Move over Robyn, there’s a new dance pop group in town and, after taking Stockholm by storm, they are ready to conquer the clubs stateside. This is the perfect song to add to your soundtrack for a day of poolside fun. Yeah, we love it.

The Weekender: Raspberry Beer Cocktail

May 25, 2012 | 2:00 PM | Cocktail Recipes | By Alanna Watson

Got plans this weekend? Of course you do. With Monday off and so much room (in your schedule) for activities, there’s no doubt you’ll be celebrating Memorial in some way. Sip on this refreshing Raspberry Beer Cocktail from My Recipes via Southern Living to stretch your drinking budget well into the long weekend:


3/4 cup frozen raspberries
3 1/2 bottles of chilled beer (or 12 oz)
1 12 oz. container of frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup of vodka
lemon and lime slices for garnish


1. Stir together the first four ingredients, serve over ice and add garnish. You may also add fresh raspberries. To make ahead, stir together lemonade concentrate and vodka in a pitcher and chill up to three days. Stir in raspberries and beer before serving.

Slim Down for a Steal at The Body Lab

May 25, 2012 | 10:00 AM | Deals | By Alanna Watson

There’s really no other way around it, if you want a smokin’ hot bod for summer, you’re going to have to put in the work at the gym and in the kitchen. Let The Body Lab help you with at least one of those stipulations with their amazing deal on classes this summer. From May 28th- August 3rd, both new and existing members of the local Pilates studio will be able to get a screaming deal on class packages. You can purchase 10 classes for $180 (usually $225) or 20 classes for $340 (usually $445). The classes expire in 60 days after purchase, which means you will have to get your butt in gear to take full advantage of the offer. With two locations, one in Arcadia and a new location in North Scottsdale, there really is no excuse as to why you can’t get all tone and taut for the season of skin.

What We’re Loving: The White Tee

May 24, 2012 | 10:00 AM | Her | By Alanna Watson

Summer style should be easy, effortless really. You should just be able to reach into your closet and pull out perfect sundresses in the most flattering cuts and patterns and then pair them with shoes that feel like clouds on your feet, yet still look runway ready (of course). Sadly, this is not the world in which we live. Truth is, when it’s this hot out, you want to throw on something you can really sweat in. We have an answer to your summer styling woes. While it’s no fashion revelation, the white tee is just the effortless essential piece you can wear with anything that is always in style. You can throw it on with a pair of shorts and a simple, brown belt or knot it at the waist and pair it with your favorite maxi skirt. You can even go oversized and wear it off the shoulder over your favorite dress for an updated take. Heck, wear a white tee any (or every) day the sun shines bright, hot and unbearable during an Arizona summer. We will applaud your creativity and commitment. Check out some basic ways to wear your white tee in our gallery after the jump.


A Dessert to Remember

May 23, 2012 | 10:00 AM | Eat & Drink | By Alanna Watson

With Memorial Day coming up next week, it’s time to start thinking about your plans for the long weekend. Whether you’re staying in town or traveling to a cooler climate, we can bank on there being an abundance of booze and food. It is an American holiday, after all. Rather than show up to your gathering of choice empty handed, we saw this awe inducing Strawberry Tart on Cupcakes and Cashmere and thought it selfish not to share. Bright, festive and drool worthy in appearance alone, this tart will have everyone thankful for a day dedicated to its enjoyment. C &C blogger, Emily, scored the recipe from Smitten Kitchen and recommends Seascape Strawberries for their sweetness, fragrance and vibrant color. Check out the recipe here and watch the process step-by-step to inspire your inner domestic goddess.

image via Cupcakes and Cashmere

Summer’s Happiest Happy Hours

May 22, 2012 | 12:00 PM | Eat & Drink | By Alanna Watson

We all know that Phoenix becomes an eerie ghost town in the summer. People travel from air conditioned home, to car, to office rarely letting their skin see the sunlight for fear it will burst spontaneously into flames. This means that local businesses suffer and restaurants must pull out all the stops to get people in the (air conditioned) door. It’s great news for us locals because it means we can hit up some of the best restaurants for very little cash. Here’s a few of our favorite Summer-time happy hours: »READ MORE

Today’s Object of Desire: Hardcore T-Shirt

May 22, 2012 | 10:00 AM | Him | By Alanna Watson

If you’re going to wear a t-shirt that says something on it, may we recommend these hardcore” options from the one and only Marc Jacobs. For just $28, you can display your level of awesomeness right there on your chest for the world to see. Finally, there will be no more doubt and no more speculation as to whether or not you can make that jump, take that shot or see that really terrifying movie with your eyes open the whole time. Sadly, you can only snag these bad boys in Marc By Marc Jacobs stores, so if you do happen to swing by a location, pick us up a few. Not that it needs to be said, but we will be requiring the “Super Hardcore” option.

T-Shirts found on the Nylon Blog (where else?)

Not “Doan” Yet: Coyotes Avoid the Sweep

May 21, 2012 | 12:00 PM | Sports | By Alanna Watson

While it seemed after three games and three bitter losses to the Los Angeles Kings, the Phoenix Coyotes were done for this season, yesterday’s last ditch effort in game four proved they have a little fight left in them. Captain Shane Doan scored the only two goals in the game while Mike Smith had his third playoff shut-out game on the road, this time in the Staples Center. The fans were angry, the Kings were frustrated and the Coyotes, well, they were the team we expected to see. While there has been speculation that it would be in the best interest of the league to have the Kings play the Rangers in the Stanley Cup Finals, our inkling is that the hardest working team in the NHL isn’t going to just roll over and die. Teams that have trailed 3-1 in the playoffs have come back a total of 229 times (or 8.7%) according to meaning that the Yotes aren’t dead in the water just yet and we still have something to root for, however small of a sliver that may be.

“When you have nothing to lose, you just throw it all out there and see what happens,” said Doan in a post-game interview. We’d like to see it all out there again during game five in Glendale Tuesday. Read more of what Doan had to say in this Sports Illustrated article and get to howlin’, Arizona.

photo credit: Joseph D’Hippolito NY Times

New Music Monday: Temper Trap

May 21, 2012 | 10:00 AM | Sound | By Alanna Watson

Before ‘Sweet Disposition’ became the “it” song for every indie film, diet coke commercial and teenage girl’s “summer” playlist, it was just one of those great songs that made you smile from a formerly underrated new band. Now we can judge accordingly with a new track entitled “Trembling Hands” off their upcoming self-titled sophomore effort expected to drop June 5th. Here’s the tuneage.

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