Author Archives: Aubrie Artiano

Aubrie Artiano

About Aubrie Artiano

Originally from Washington D.C., Aubrie recently relocated to Scottsdale from Los Angeles, leaving behind an entertainment career in pursuit of her passion for writing. With a love for anything outdoors, Aubrie is also a self-declared food junkie and extensive blogger.

Glamping, Photo: Wolwedans

Worldwide Trend, Glamping, Arrives To Scottsdale

When one thinks of camping, the phrase “roughing it” typically comes to mind. Flashbacks of faulty supplies, mystery food, bug attacks and the process of “using nature as your bathroom,” tend to prevent people from giving camping a second chance. However, a new trend has emerged that not only accommodate all of your camping needs, but also your luxury needs. and luxury needs. Ladies, meet glamping.

Glamping, originating from such exotic destinations as Africa and Thailand, is a more luxurious way to enjoy the great outdoors by providing glamorous amenities and services. Tents, for example, are often built with an electrical power source, offering appliances, lighting and climate control for guests. As if that isn’t luxurious enough, ditch your sleeping bag and upgrade to either an air mattress or king-sized spring mattress, sheathed in Egyptian cotton sheets. The best part? Camp is set up prior to your arrival, so all that’s left for you to do is to simply enjoy.

The royal treatment doesn’t stop there; full-course meals, laundered clothing, comfortable transportation and on-location spas come standard. Don’t let all this glitz fool you, though; glamping is very much about enjoying and respecting nature. Guests will still embark on river rafting adventures, safaris, go rock climbing and spelunking. The biggest difference being at the end of the day, instead of coming home to a crooked, wet tent, a wait staff and a toasty fire will greet you. Do we have your attention yet?

As this fad’s popularity soars, several resorts and outdoor adventure groups offer glamping escapades, as well as the chance to design your own custom camping adventure. And this includes local Arizona Outback Adventures, which offers a large variety of outdoor adventures, supplying meals and snacks, transportation and all of your camping supplies. Another local option is The Phoenician, a luxury resort and hotel in Scottsdale, which offers its own interpretation of glamping, per request.

“Here at The Phoenician, we can create a glamping experience by providing such luxurious offerings as AAA Five Diamond accommodations, award-winning restaurants and a world-renowned spa (The Centre for Well-Being), all combined with a variety of outdoor endeavors,” says Denise Seomin, director of public relations for The Phoenician.

“The Centre for Well-Being actually offers guided hikes at Camelback Mountain,” she adds. “The resort also has bikes available to guests to explore the 250-acre grounds, or nearby communities. In addition, the concierge staff can arrange a diverse number of active pursuits to add to the glamping trip, from horseback riding to river rafting.”

If your glamping craving takes you beyond the limits of Arizona, Seomin suggests you do plenty of research online and consider seeking assistance from a travel agent.

“Its all depends on the exact type or style of glamping trip in which the travelers are interested,” Seomin says. “Glamping, or the degree of such travel, is really at the discretion of the individuals, who can truly customize the experience to meet their expectations.”

Overall, if you’re interested in pursuing outdoor activities without sacrificing comfort and present-day amenities, glamping is screaming your name.

For more information about glamping at/with The Phoenician or Arizona Outback Adventures, visit or, respectively.

Glamping at the Phoenician

“Glamping” Photo Shoot Special Thanks To:

Location: The Phoenician in Scottsdale
Clothes and shoes: Barneys, Scottsdale Fashion Square
Jewelry: Hearts,
Makeup: Mozaik Skin & Body
Hair: Lindsay Cohen, All Done Up!
Models: Emily, Kristin and Nicole
Photographers: Cory Bergquist and Glory Shim

glamping at the phoenician

Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2012

Ann Taylor

Ann Taylor To Open New Concept Store At Kierland Commons

A new Ann Taylor concept store will celebrate its grand opening Friday, August 17, at Kierland Commons in Scottsdale. This will be Arizona’s second Ann Taylor concept store; the first opened last summer in the Chandler Fashion Center.

These concept stores are part of the brand’s effort to promote its recently revamped collection, which initially launched in the fall of 2009. Since it’s beginning, Ann Taylor has prided itself on offering iconic, classic American style for the modern working woman. However, throughout the decades, Ann Taylor has adapted to meet changing needs and emerging styles.

“The new Ann Taylor is chic and stylish with a more fashion-forward direction to address the needs of today’s modern working women,” says Lisa Axelson, head designer and a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). “Our new concept stores are a reflection of our new fashion direction. They are light, modern, feminine and designed to showcase the full Ann Taylor collection while making our client feel comfortable and welcome.”

The new Ann Taylor boutiques, designed in partnership with S. Russell Groves architects, are inspired by a modern, contemporary home feel that can provide an intimate shopping experience that is both chic and inviting. Such accessories as modern-tufted furniture, elegant crystal chandeliers and flattering backlit mirrors serve as the focal points for the stores’ shoppers. New wardrobe niches allow for a broader assortment of products than previous Ann Taylor stores.

“The shopping experience is better on many levels,” says Andrew Taylor, style director for Ann Taylor. “For one, curated fashion presentations and expert styling services add to the new store experience and make shopping easy. At the front of the store, Lisa Axelsons’ favorite looks of the season greet the client and help with wardrobing and styling ideas.”

In addition to the wardrobe niches, a private lounge area features a touchscreen monitor that provides access to the Ann Taylor website. Such accessibility to the brand’s website allows shoppers to view and order the complete product assortment outside of the particular store they are in, including additional fashion and wear-to-work styles, a broader assortment of shoes and petites, and online exclusives.

“The key fashion message is complemented by shop-in-shop destinations, including the Career Chic shop, a petites shop and an accessories shop,” Taylor says. “Dedicated stylists are also on staff and available for both walk-ins and appointments to help clients put together perfect individualized looks for any occasion.”

Ann Taylor locations throughout Arizona:

  • Chandler Fashion Center, 3111 W. Chandler Blvd., in Chandler
  • Biltmore Fashion Park, 2582 E. Camelback Rd., in Phoenix
  • Scottsdale Fashion, 7014 E. Camelback Rd., in Scottsdale
  • La Encantada, 2905 E. Skyline Dr., in Tucson

For more information about Ann Taylor, visit

Sperry, men's summer fashion

Men’s Summer Fashion: 3 Must-Haves

Gentlemen, grab a sharpened No. 2 pencil and a pad of a paper. You’re about to take a crash course in summer fashion.

For many men, summer style consists solely of graphic tees, shorts with oversized pockets and faded leather flip-flops. However, this season, men everywhere are emerging from the woodworks in trendy, fashionable items — and we invite you to join them.

3 Men’s Summer Fashion Must-Haves:

men's summer fashionShorts or bust

In with the slim, out with the slouch! Time to toss out those loose, so-baggy-they’re-practically-pants, cargo shorts. This summer, plunge into fashion by trending up your wardrobe with the season’s most basic article: shorts.

Slim-fit shorts sit a little higher on the waste, and hang just above the knee. Instead of the traditional flare we’ve seen in men’s shorts for decades, these offer straight, slimmer lines. Furthermore, these shorts are incredibly lightweight. Perfect for those scorching summer afternoons.

men's summer fashionRock the boat

Remember those goofy-looking shoes our fathers used to wear? Well, they’re back — and with a stylish vengeance. The boat shoe, also known as the dock shoe, is a comfortable alternative to the sneaker; and better yet, you don’t have to tie it.

This shoe is available in a large variety of colors and materials, which means it’s versatile enough to wear at work or play. Pair these with pants or shorts; they work with virtually anything. Don’t be afraid to try the season’s most popular bold colors; your feet will thank you later.

men's summer fashionChinos for days

Too hot for jeans, but too cool for shorts? Release the chinos. These thin pants are known for its trademark hemline, or cuff (which exposes the ankle), as well as its bright, summery colors.

Typically made of a cotton or linen, these are the perfect way to spice up a basic pant and t-shirt look, without feeling emasculated. If you’re bold enough to sport a more brighter hue, tone the look down by wearing a neutral tone on top. In this scenario, your pants should always remain the focal point.

These looks are affordable and easy to find, so no excuses! We all understand that shopping may not be a man’s favorite past time, but with these simple tweaks to basic apparel, you’ll be glad you opened your eyes to the world of fashion.

Scottsdale Polo Championships

Big Names, Bigger Horsepower: Scottsdale Polo Championships Extravaganza

On October 20th, 2012, the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Barrett–Jackson, and Scottsdale’s Arabian Horse Show will team up to sponsor the second annual Scottsdale Polo Championships: Horses + Horsepower. The event will be hosted by WestWorld’s premiere equestrian center in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Polo ChampionshipsHorses + Horsepower has greatly expanded from last year’s inaugural event and will now host two amazing matches, featuring some of the biggest names in American polo, including industry celebrities, Tommy Biddle Jr. and Nic Roldan.

Doors will open at 10:30 a.m., with the event’s first match pitting Harvard University against Work to Ride (the first African-American high school polo champion in U.S. history to be featured on ESPN) at 1 p.m.Scottsdale Polo Championships

A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit local charities, as well as the Work to Ride organization, a non-profit that provides disadvantaged urban youth from Philadelphia with constructive activities focused on horsemanship, equine sports and education. The organization provides a unique opportunity that allows seven- to 19-year-old youths to connect with animals and nature.

Immediately following the first matchup, the second event at 3 p.m. will feature The Hamptons Polo team, led by Tommy Biddle Jr., and The Bel Air Polo Club, captained by Nic Roldan. An on-site after party will wrap up the day’s events, featuring music by DJ Mr. P-Body.

Great polo isn’t the only attraction that will be on display at this year’s event. Attendee’s will be granted a sneak peak of the 2013 Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, along with the Barrett-Jackson’s 2013 Collector Car Auction. Guests will also get the opportunity to check out the local Ferrari and Lamborghini clubs collection that will line the field.

Tickets are on sale now, and seating is limited; so don’t miss out! Go to to purchase general admission tickets ($15), VIP Packages ($75) and table reservations, cabana rentals ($2,000) and tailgating tickets ($100). Information about corporate sponsorship opportunities is also available.

Or, for more information, head over to Scottsdale Polo Championships’ Facebook page.

Praying Monk

Happy Hour Hot Spots: Praying Monk

All hail the beer God: Praying Monk. Happy hour at this new, Scottsdale hot spot is a beer connoisseur’s dream.

Enter hipster heaven, L.A. style: Reclaimed-wood-covered walls, leather-upholstered booths and sultry candlelight. As far as first impressions go, Praying Monk makes a very rustic-chic statement. The casual ambiance transports you from the usual Old Town Scottsdale atmosphere to a popular lounge you’d stumble into strolling down Hollywood Blvd.

An oversized bar serves as the focal point of the open-space concept restaurant, ideal for hosting large groups of beer [and wine!] lovers alike. The staff is outgoing, engaging and quick to recommend one of the many tasty boutique beers in stock (17 on tap, 39 by the bottle).

Our experience was delightful. The bartender suggested a delicious Belgium beer, Grimbergen Dubbel ($6) with just a hint of grape aftertaste. The chaser was a Russian Imperial Stout, North Coast Old Rasputin ($6) — an excellent brew for those who’ve acquired a taste for stout. Did we mention the adorable, distinct goblets assigned to each specialty?

During happy hour, all appetizers are half price. It’s doubtful you’ll find a more exotic array of small dishes close by. Plates to definitely sample next time you’re in the neighborhood include the Bavarian pretzel with grain mustard and sweet pickles ($3.50) and the crispy pig ear with rocoto chili, lime and sea salt ($5) — not for the faint of heart.

Complementing the ambience, beer and wine is, a music repertoire alternating indie contemporary and classic hits. ← Could you clarify this sentence for me? Overall,  Praying Monk is an eclectic alternative from the traditional Scottsdale scene. Grab an exceptional after-work drink, or enjoy a relaxing meal with some friends. If you haven’t already checked out this spot, make it a point to do so.

Happy Hour at Praying Monk: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

1/2 off appetizers
$3 New Belgium Blue Paddle Pilsner
$3 Praying Monk Pale Ale
$5 Lucky Star pinot and chardonnay
$4 well drinks

Praying Monk Restaurant & Bar
7217 E. 1st St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 398-3020

Nail art

Nail Art, Trends: Summer’s Most Smokin’ Accessory

With hands and feet on full display this season, don’t assume that flowing summer dresses and itsy-bitsy bikinis should top your list of trends to rock. Nail art has easily become one of summer’s must-have accessories, (not to mention the most convenient and affordable way to express your inner fashionista). Best of all, your options are endless; there are oodles of different nail art styles and colors. Try one, make a statement, and then swap it out for a new look.

Seeking guidance from an expert, we ventured into the fabulous world of pink at Fuchsia Spa and Nail Salon in Mesa. Managing partner Lisa Vukonich shared with us these early summer, nail art trends:

Rock star

Also known as the glitter nail, rock star has been an exceptionally popular choice. Applied with shellac paint, this look will help you uphold your diva designation by seamlessly taking you from day-to-night without dulling or chipping. This look is available in a vast array of colors.

“It’s like wearing diamonds on your hands and feet,” says Vukonich, who rocks this look herself.


Nail art

Does your favorite animal wear stripes or spots? Can’t decide? No matter — this option includes every animal in the kingdom. Whether it’s zebra stripes on your nails, (or just one or two), or sassy cheetah markings, there’s no better way to satisfy your inner beast.

“A lot of women don’t feel like they can wear animal print on their body; thus, they wear it on their nails,” Vukonich says.


“I think this look has become so popular because of the trendy ombre hairstyle we’ve seen so much of,” Vukonich says.Nail art

Ombre is the simplest way to spice up your average manicure. Starting with either your thumb or pinkie, your color of choice either fades or deepens depending on your personal preference.

The beauty of this trend is that you can select any color your heart desires. This might be the perfect opportunity to showcase your favorite pastel you’ve been too shy to wear on your body.

Nail art

Nude neutrals

If you’re hoping to achieve that prim, proper, subtle look, look no further. A nude nail is a popular selection, a trend that never entirely fades and is always appropriate and flattering.

“Think about your favorite pair of nude pumps, the way they elongate your legs,” Vukonich says. “Nude nails do the same for your fingers.”

Nail art

Patterns and prints

From funky hipster to retro throwback, there’s no limit to designs that decorate and highlight your nails. A pattern that seems to be popping up everywhere is chevron. This look is perfect for the do-it-yourselfer: Grab a roll of scotch tape and have at it.


Nail art

Can’t decide on a color? No problem! Lucky for you, one of summer’s trendiest nail looks is to wear a different color on every nail, (or just one or two). There’s no better option for the indecisive. Pure bliss — a trend with no rules!


Nail artIn the same vein as ombre, this look is also very similar to the hairstyle. However, instead of each nail gradually increasing or decreasing in color, the entire light-to-dark, or dark-to-light, effect is happening on each and every one of your nails.

“This is fun for those who want to try one of the summer trends at home. For example, paint all your nails orange. Once dry, apply a strip of orange and red to either the top or bottom of your nail. Next you’ll use a sponge to carefully blend the two colors together,” Vukonich says.

Lisa also says all women who have yet to make the switch to shellac paint should go ahead and take the plunge confidently; it’s well worth it.

“Shellac will not damage your real nail, and you can expect it to stay preserved and chip-free for 14 days,” Vukonich adds. “Keep in mind that no filing or drills should ever be used; the removal process should consist of an acetone foil pack. The paint will just glide right off the nail.”

With all this nail knowledge now embedded in your brain, you’ve become the go-to girl for stylish nail trends this summer. Why wait? Nail euphoria is figuratively, and literally, at your fingertips.

For more information about nail art from Fuchsia Spa and Nail Salon, visit

Fuchsia Spa and Nail Salon
Village Square at Dana Park Shopping Center
1854 S. Val Vista, #108, Mesa
(480) 813-PINK (7465)

wellness travel

Wellness Travel Considered A Necessity To Improve Health

Researchers and consumers alike wholly agree that travel has an overall nurturing effect on the body, mind and spirit. “Wellness vacations” promise peace of mind, true relaxation  and a sense of rejuvenation ― both physical and mental. And given the increasing demands and daily stresses we all try our best to manage, it is no surprise that “wellness travel packages” grow ever more popular and available.

“Vacations are no longer a luxury, they are a necessity,” says Camille Hoheb, CEO of Wellness Tourism Worldwide. “There is a growing body of evidence that taking time off improves health, productivity and happiness.”

Studies show that after a few days of vacation, heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones decrease significantly, and can reduce the risk of a heart attack by 50 percent.

In 1948, the Framingham Heart Study monitored 750 women between the ages of 45-64, all of whom were initially free of heart disease, and had been for the prior 20 years. This study examined each subject’s frequency and duration of vacation time, ultimately concluding that those women who only vacationed once [or less] every six years were about eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or suffer a heart attack than those who vacationed at least twice a year. Other factors were surely at play, but the findings are startling nonetheless.

Wellness travel awareness is also intended to help the public understand the concept and practice of modifiable risk behaviors. As human beings, we all have habits or routines that are not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. These include tobacco use, misuse of alcohol, inactivity and poor diet choices. The World Health Organization cites these “risk behaviors” as leading culprits in the development of life-altering conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and respiratory illness. Correcting these behaviors directly decreases the prevalence of these largely avoidable conditions.

Wellness travel generally is thought of as a means of increasing one’s sense of well-being but may have more immediate, practical, worthy consequences. Now what? How might one plan a vacation that is aimed towards wellness and health? Start with making a plan as to where you want to go and how you go about it. Planning and creating an itinerary will help to eliminate stress. That’s not to say that spontaneity isn’t encouraged, but scheduling much of your vacation agenda in advance means less stress and more time for you to relax and enjoy.

Wellness vacationing can be a weekend getaway, or a weeklong trip. It’s all about reviving you from the draining, life sapping trials and tribulations of every day life. Hoheb suggests reconnecting with yourself, others and nature is what wellness travel is all about.

“Wellness tourism puts a spotlight on local assets such as natural landscapes (hot springs) local traditions (yoga) and local rituals (Indian sweat lodge),” Hoheb adds. “Wellness tourism is also ecologically sensitive and world friendly and includes eco-tourism, volun-tourism and exchanges. It includes spiritual travel such as pilgrimages, retreats and connecting with nature and also speaks to evidence based therapies such as mindfulness, massage and yoga.”

With so much hype surrounding wellness vacationing, many travel agencies, resorts and spas offer specific packages or specials created to help you achieve well-being. It has become very simple to take advantage of this emerging trend.

When organizing your retreat, whether to a local log-cabin mountain hideaway, or a spiritual overhaul with Buddhists in India, remember that the reward is fundamentally intrinsic: regardless of destination, at the end of the day what matters most is your own perception of wellness.

For more information about wellness travel and/or Wellness Tourism Worldwide, visit

Phoenix Fashion Week, Emerging Designers

Emerging Designers Compete For Phoenix Fashion Week's "Designer of the Year 2012"

Phoenix Fashion Week’s emerging designers were announced at the Emerging Designer Experiment, all of whom will have the opportunity to launch their brand at the 8th annual Phoenix Fashion Week on October 3-6, 2012

In shelter of the Founder’s Room in the Musical Instruments Museum’s sleek, architecturally modern structure, Phoenix Fashion Week hosted its annual event, Emerging Designer Experiment, sponsored by, Focal Point Salon and

The event, created by Phoenix Fashion Week’s (PHXFW) executive director, Brian Hill, showcased a select group of up-and-coming designers ― all of which were discovered during PHXFW’s seven-city domestic tour, including Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Flagstaff and Tucson, Ariz.

These designers will not only have the opportunity to launch their brand at the eighth annual Phoenix Fashion Week on October 3-6, 2012, but also compete for a $10,000 prize package of goods and services to help further launch their brand.

Past winners Joanna de’Shay of Black Russian Label (2009) and Jeanne Hankerson of SJ Couture (2010) were special guest speakers, offering encouraging words and insight into their own ups and downs of their respective fashion journey.

Fashion lovers in attendance were able to vote for the best brand in each of in the following categories: “Best Design,” Coolest Brand Message,” “I Would Buy Them Tonight,” and “Most Likely To Succeed.” The official results will be posted up on the Phoenix Fashion Week website within the next few days, which you can check out here:

Emerging designers competing for “Designer of the Year 2012″:

Bri Seeley

Phoenix Fashion WeekBri Seeley Designs

“Quality, classic fashion. Contemporary and unique garments created with great care and attention.” – Bri Seeley Designs

Seeley discovered her niche for fashion at a young age. While obtaining her master’s diploma in fashion design from Accademia Italiana in Florence, Italy, she developed a love for historic fashion and draws upon this for inspiration. Seeley’s creations are described as intriguing, wearable, sassy and versatile.

Phoenix Fashion WeekKhanh Nguyen

ENVY by Khanh

“Make them feel it.” – ENVY by Khanh

Equipped with a bachelor of fine arts from the Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts at Arizona State University, and a love for fashion, drawing and sketching, Nguyen plans to showcase his unique style through his fashion line. Simplicity, elegance and asymmetry define the brand.

Phoenix Fashion WeekEYE Thread (website coming soon)


Premium Denim Inspired by American Roots

JHause is an authentic brand that represents strength and durability. The brand’s main focus is on its denim line and denim couture.

Phoenix Fashion WeekLiving Dreams

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Living Dreams

Living Dreams is all about inspiring people to chase after their dream ― and make dreams reality. The brand is notorious for its novelty t-shirts with positive quotes/messages, funny sayings, cool photos and palm trees.

Phoenix Fashion WeekOfra Aricha

Ofra Style

Ofra’s brand is all about contemporary clothes that promote a woman’s sense of style and self. Originally from Israel, Aricha studied fashion and has degrees in art and photography. Her experience in the industry is as extensive as 20 years.

Phoenix Fashion WeekPaulie Gibbson

Paulie Gibson Design

“Bottom line, be who you are and love every minute of it!” – Paulie Gibbson

After completing his degree in design/product development from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, Gibbson spent time studying design, art and the history of costume in Paris, France. He has acquired 12 years experience working in the fashion industry. Gibbson’s inspiration for his brand is a contradiction between masculine and feminine.

Phoenix Fashion WeekSamantha Patterson

“…to make what is traditional malleable by infusing classic rhythm with subtle innovations.” – Samantha Patterson

Upon graduating from FIDM in Los Angeles, Patterson immediately began working on her very own clothing line. Patterson’s brand aims to provide fashion-forward garments with modest silhouettes.

Phoenix Fashion WeekBrooke Alicia

Sew Twisted Designs

Sew Twisted mission statement: To provide the everyday mother, businesswoman, student, homemaker, and indeed every woman, with dramatic and unique apparel for their everyday lives. Sew Twisted has clothes for every possible occasion, as well as an assortment of hats and hair accessories.

Phoenix Fashion WeekShawl Dawls

“Shawl Dawls is versatile fashion for the everyday woman that is Comfortable. Classy. Convertible.” – Shawl Dawls

Shawl Dawls offers a large assortment of fashionable shawls in a variety of colors and patterns, all suited for the modern day, stylish woman. Shawl Dawls’ mission is, “to invite and inspire women of all ages to be creative with their fashion through versatile and modern pieces that exude sophisticated confidence and effortless beauty.”

Phoenix Fashion WeekSuzanne Lay

“Bright colors. Bold looks. Enviable style.” – Suzanne Lay Designs

Based in St. Louis, Lay finds her brand’s inspiration by the power and emotion of music. Lay’s line first launched in 2009 and has been described as chic, effortless, sexy and alluring.

So which designer is YOUR favorite?
Cast your vote in our poll (scroll up, and on the right)!

For more information on becoming a part of PHXFW or any other information regarding the event, visit

poinsettia tea party

Nonprofit Organization, Duet, To Host Poinsettia Tea Party Fundraiser

Pinkies up! On December 9th, Duet will be hosting its annual Poinsettia Tea Party. With tickets priced at $70 per person ($37 of which is tax deductible), the 22nd annual Poinsettia Tea Party, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch, is expected to welcome more than 500 guests – all of whom in attendance to raise money for Duet.

Duet is a nonprofit, interfaith organization that supplies aid for older adults and their families, as they face the difficult challenges so often associated with aging.

We promote health and well-being in the greater Phoenix area through a broad range of free-of-charge services for those in need,” says Eva Scholfield, director of development for Duet.

Executive Director, Elizabeth Banta, says, “We help home-bound adults remain living in their own home by matching them with caring volunteers who provide simple, yet vital, services such a grocery shopping and rides to medical appointments.”

The Poinsettia Tea Party is one of three annual fundraising events sponsored by Duet. The Tour de Paradise bicycle ride fundraiser is scheduled for October 20th, 2012, and Jazz Cabaret will take place in the spring of 2013.

During the Poinsettia Tea Party, tea junkies and newbies alike can select from Earl Grey standards or sample specially prepared offerings, including a festive orange spice tea, delicate scones with fresh jam and cream, sandwiches and desserts carefully selected and elegantly prepared by the chef.

The Poinsettia Tea is a wonderful and exciting event that has raised Duet’s visibility in the community and endeared our mission to many attendees,” says Sandy Lebowitz, chair of the Poinsettia Tea Steering Committee.

This popular fundraising event netted more than $103,000 in support of Duet’s mission in 2011. This year, the Steering Committee has set a goal for the event to raise net proceeds of $120,000 to benefit Duet’s services.

For more information about Duet, visit


WHERE: Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch
7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd.
WHEN: Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 2:30 p.m.
TICKETS: Call (602) 274-5022 to make reservations. MasterCard, American Express, and Visa are accepted.

Summer Spa Events and Specials

Scottsdale’s Hottest Spa Events, Specials

The summer heat might have us running for cover, but that doesn’t mean we can’t spoil ourselves. What better way to stay cool than by indulging in some of Scottsdale’s hottest spa events and spa specials?

Luxurious spas in and around the greater Phoenix area are coming together to celebrate this blazing season (in the air-conditioned shade, of course) and, in the process, will raise money for a wonderful cause.

Noteworthy spa events and specials in Scottsdale this summer include:

7th Annual Summer Spaaah Series

Arizona Spa Girls will host its seventh annual Summer Spaaah Series, a line-up of seven resort spa events, with a percentage of ticket sales targeted towards Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.

Fresh Start is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women through the services of the Jewell McFarland Lewis-Fresh Start Women’s Resource Center in Phoenix.

Tickets for the Summer Spaaah Series start at $110 and include an evening reception, featuring an excellent wine selection and scrumptious samplings of the chef’s picks. Guests receive a beach bag stuffed with luxury spa and beauty products, a charity raffle ticket and, of course, mini spa services.

Each attendee will receive a “Spaaah” certificate valid toward one full spa treatment, along with use of the spa amenities on a day of their choosing, within 30 days of the event.

2012 dates and destinations for the Summer Spaaah Series:

6/15: Spa Avania at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch
7/13: Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa at the Wigwam, Litchfield Park
7/27: Arizona Biltmore Spa, Phoenix
8/10: Agave, The Arizona Spa at Westin Kierland Resort, Scottsdale
8/24: Amara Spa at Amara Resort Hotel, Sedona

For information on purchasing tickets, visit

Spa Nordstrom

This summer, Spa Nordstrom is offering its heavenly Grapefruit Ice Pedicure for $60 (normally $70). This hour-long pedicure includes an aromatherapy feet soak along with a grapefruit and walnut shell leg/foot exfoliation.

Also, anyone who purchases an hour-long facial can also receive a pedicure simultaneously, for an additional $55.

And, Spa Nordstrom is now carrying the fabulous Moroccan Oil Body Line!

Spa Nordstrom
7055 E. Camelback Rd
., Scottsdale
(480) 429-167

Bliss Spa

For those who plan to visit Bliss Spa at the W Hotel in the near future, be sure to ask about the Summer Spa Pass. For $300, you can choose three different services from its list of offerings, all targeting different areas of the body.

W Hotel

7277 E. Camelback Rd., 
(480) 575-0164

Spa Lamar

Looking for the perfect gift this summer that promises more bang for your buck? Fear not! At Spa Lamar, when you purchase a $100 gift card, you will receive a $25 gift card for your own personal use.

Spa Lamar
5115 N. Scottsdale Rd
., Scottsdale
(480) 945-7066

Jurlique Spa

Just in time for the summer sizzle, Jurique Spa of Firesky Resort is boasting an all-new summer “de-stress for less” menu of services and prices. This special offer menu is available June 1st through September 30th.

Jurlique Spa
4925 N. Scottsdale Rd., 
(480) 424-6072

Joya Spa

Need to renew and replenish from the exhausting heat? Joya Spa presents its exclusive summer special: buy one, get one half off! Enjoy the luxurious list of services, along with access to Joya’s lavish, private terrace pool.

Montelucia Resort

4949 E. Lincoln Dr
., Scottsdale
(888) 691-5692

VH Spa for Vitality + Health

VH Spa at Valley Ho resort might offer the mother-load of summer savings! June and July offer massage and body treatments at a heavily discounted price.

On top of monthly deals, VH also has weekday summer specials. Check out its website for a complete list of the discounted services.

Hotel Valley Ho

6850 E. Main St
., Scottsdale
(480) 248-2000

Blu Sol Spa

Talk about a super summer bargain — this boutique spa offers an hour-long massage for just $39, or an hour-long organic facial for $69! Call for more upcoming deals and specials.

Blu Sol Spa
7105 E. McDowell Rd
., Scottsdale
(480) 423-0145

Dolce Salon Spa

Dolce has overhauled its menu to offer client’s special deals and discounts this month. Save big on some of your spa favorites and ultra indulgent party packages.
Also featured, a Father’s Day gift card package, which you definitely don’t want to pass up!

Dolce Salon Spa
6166 N. Scottsdale Rd
., Scottsdale
(480) 722-0500

The Spa at Talking Stick Resort

Talking Stick Spa, known for delivering the star treatment, is now offering a 50-minute pedicure for only $58 (regularly $70). Choose from three flirty colors to soften and brighten your toes, all while sipping your favorite summer drink.

Also available Sundays through Thursdays, guests can chose from one of the following body treatments for just $89: Desert Lavender Massage, Sweet Mesquite Body Polish, or the Repair and Prevent Facial.

The Spa at Talking Stick Resort
9800 E. Indian Bend Rd
., Scottsdale
(480) 850-4065

What are you waiting for? Stay cool, do something nice for yourself, and help a very worthwhile cause. A list this long guarantees a spa experience you’ll not soon forget.


charming CHARLIE

Charming CHARLIE Accessories Boutique Opening 200th Store

On Tuesday, June 19th, charming CHARLIE will open its 200th store at The District in Desert Ridge Marketplace. To celebrate this milestone, charming CHARLIE will provide a $10 gift card to the first 50 opening day customers. There will also be one drawing every day from June 19th to June 23rd where customers will have the chance to win a $200 gift card.

The store will occupy more than 7,000 square feet, offering a broad selection of accessories, from bohemian and vintage to classic and modern.

“Jewelry at charming CHARLIE is all about big, bright and bold — from vibrant color combinations to statement pieces that grab attention to any wardrobe,” says Patty Fadhouli, brands marketing manager for charming CHARLIE.

Charming CHARLIE got its start when proprietor Charlie Chanaratsopon, who grew up in the jewelry business, decided on a non-traditional approach — offering an extensive selection of accessories at affordable prices (most of the items are priced below $50) with merchandise layout based strictly on color, not category.

“Our stores are a great place to go if you have a particular event or outfit in mind,” Fadhouli says. “Charming CHARLIE is also a great place for a treasure hunt.”

Given CHARLIE’s diverse and extensive assortment of accessories, women of all ages will enjoy the shopping experience. More likely than not, they will find something that fills the void.

“Charming CHARLIE appeals to a wide demographic of women,” Fadhouli adds. “You can often find moms and daughters happily shopping together.”

Next time you’re at the store, general merchandise manager, Kasia Roma, says to keep your eye out for the following trends:

“Collar necklaces, stacked bangles and oversized earrings are a new crop of trend that every jewelry lover must try,” she says.

charming CHARLIE 200th Store Opening

charming CHARLIE

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 10 a.m.
The District at Desert Ridge Marketplace
21001 N. Tatum Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85050
(480) 513-7586

Tie-Dye Clothing

The Many Shades Of Tie-Dye: How To Wear It

Suffering from fashion déjà vu?  With the resurgence of so many fashion blasts from the pasts, it’s a common affliction. This summer season, yet another retired trend has made its way back to the mainstream, emerging unashamedly in every conceivable shape, color and size — tie-dye.

This popular fad’s comeback might leave you wondering how, exactly, you can fashionably incorporate tie-dye into your current wardrobe.

Nonetheless, if you’re sky-high for tie-dye and can summon the courage, here are a few “groovy” suggestions:

Once upon a dress

As with any dress, cut and shape are always critical. There is an abundance of tube top, tie-dye dresses currently available in stores; however, there are many body types that are simply not flattered by this style.

Don’t compromise quality, comfort or your personal style just because a “look” is trendy. If you take the retro plunge, be sure you’re selecting the right colors for your skin tone. There are various palettes of tie-dye at arms reach. Don’t settle!



White Wash

Tie-Dye Tie-Dye

Over the top

This summer, the crop top is in, along with bold neons, flower prints and lace. That being said, even the bravest wouldn’t dare mesh all of these styles and colors, and neither should you! Bottom line: keep it clean and simple.

You may think it’s impossible to wear tie-dye at the office, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that there are classic looking tie-dye pieces out there. Such items can easily be paired with slacks or a skirt.



White Wash


Hang on to your shorts

Shorts are all about personal preference. Length, fit, pockets — it all depends on your personal preferences and your sense of what best showcases your derrière. If paired with a neutral top, you can go all out with your bottoms.

Shorts can also serve as the piece you’ve been looking for to liven up a simple t-shirt and jean-shorts look. Be creative!



White Wash

tie-dye tie-dye tie-dye

When it comes to your closet, balance and utility are crucial. Versatility is also key, so make a fashion statement, and introduce a few attention-grabbing items into the mix.

At the end of the day, tie-dye is all about having fun; so rock this season’s funky trend all summer if you’d like. Peace out.

Packing 101

Packing 101: Weekend Getaways

With summer’s searing wrath upon us, it’s time to prepare and prioritize your weekend getaway wish list. And whether you’re planning a romantic rendezvous, a trip with the girls or a family expedition, packing wisely is always the challenge.

Packing 101: Here are some tips to help you become a more efficient packer:

Packing 101

Good things come in small packages

Absolute truth: no matter how big the suitcase, you’ll fill it! Save yourself the temptation and aggravation by settling on a smaller bag. With less space, you’ll find yourself putting more thought into what you’re packing, and how you’re packing (i.e., if bringing heels, remember to place them in the middle of the bag, heels facing in).

Rolling articles up tends to keep them from getting too wrinkled during the trek.

Think, and then pack

Plan ahead. Once you’ve decided on your itinerary, pack accordingly. If you’re on the fence, be a minimalist — to do otherwise spells big trouble, and big suitcases. Go with your gut; your initial instinct bears out more often than not.

Simplicity and versatility are key

Packing 101It’s not a costume party. Think comfortable chic. Color coordination is key, so stick to two to three different colors; this way you have the option of mixing and matching your items without reconciling palettes or patterns. (Neutrals are always a safe bet; however, don’t be afraid to spice things up with some trendy pastel pieces for layering.).

Try before you buy

Run a beta test. With limited space, you want to be sure that the items you pack are the items you’re going to be happy with once you arrive. Pairing your outfits from head to shoes before departing will save you from a mini fashion crisis. It’s better to bring more tops than bottoms: not only are they smaller and easier to pack, but unlike bottoms, you can’t be a repeat offender.

Let these guidelines serve as your mantra as you blissfully plan that weekend away. The moral of the story is: simple is better, and everything is good in moderation. Keep that in mind, and you’ll experience packing rapture (or at least avoid that pre-departure anxiety attack).

Pinterest party

Pinterest Party: A New Type Of Girls Night

Thanks to Pinterest’s surging popularity, women around the country are enjoying a new, exciting pastime — the Pinterest party. Pinterest party guests pool their creative juices to complete creative projects, discuss various pins from their own personal sites and much more.

For those of you sitting there scratching your heads, allow us to introduce you; Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board where you can collect an unlimited number of articles or pictures you find on the Web with merely a click of a button (the “Pin It” tool). From recipes and home décor, to fashion and beauty, there is no limit to what your boards can reflect and share.

As you plot your very own Pinterest party, here are some tips to help get you started.

Ricki Uster, local owner and event designer of La Ricki Event Design in Phoenix, has arranged her own Pinterest party by roping in some of her mommy friends for a monthly gathering.

“Set a low budget for the first few projects,” Uster says. “It can be around $10 to $15 dollars to take care of all the products for the given project.”

Pinterest PartyEach party targets a project that one of the participants has long wanted to complete, from designing or decorating a home to planning a social event or a vacation.

You can utilize a social media outlet to invite people interested in joining,” Uster says.

Pinterest PartyFor first-time party throwers, simplicity is key. Keep number of guests to a minimum; you’ll find it’s easier to devote time to each guest, and avoid being overwhelmed. Create a theme that your guests can get excited about, and request they bring their own finger food creation or drink to match.

After a rotation of projects, it will be Fall, and the projects will turn to making gifts and favors for the upcoming holiday season,” Uster adds. “That will be another fantastic list of projects!”

If preparing your own food sampler for the event, stick to items you can easily serve on a skewer such as cheese, fruits or antipasto. Pinterest PartyDrinks should reflect the current season, and have fresh, refreshing ingredients.

If you’re looking for retro sippy straws or cute cupcake liners, head over to Smeeks, they have a bunch of colors and you’ll find fun candy too.” Uster says.

For your party décor and supplies, check out MichaelsJo-Ann Fabric & Craft or HomeGoods. They regularly have sales on their products and carry seasonal items great for holiday-themed crafts and projects.

While planning, try to make a detailed list of everything you want to accomplish or have happen, then be realistic about which ones you can do, and rewrite the list,” Uster adds.

Remember, when it comes to throwing a party, the most important ingredient is to ensure you’re enjoying yourself every step of the way — planning, styling and hosting. Stay fully engaged, upbeat and happy; your guests will follow suit.

For more information about how you can throw your own Pinterest party,

Gerald Allen

Meet Calistro Bistro’s New Executive Chef, Gerald Allen

Just in time for summer, Calistro California Bistro at Hilton Village has brought on a new Executive Chef, Gerald Allen. We were lucky enough to steal a bit of Gerald’s time and ask him some mouth-watering questions about these delicious new changes.

What compelled you to pursue a cooking career?

My grandmother cooked for a famous family for years, and so I was always around cooking and food. It was something I was always interested in. I decided to learn how to cook, and the rest is history. Originally I wanted to open a restaurant and run the front of the house, but I fell in love with cooking.

Where did you study the culinary arts?

Johnson & Wales in Norfolk, Virginia and Providence, Rhode Island.

What’s your favorite dish on the menu to eat?

Local eggs — as a chef I can cook eggs in a lot of different ways. I love these new local eggs, and they allow me to be very creative with a very simple ingredient.

What’s one of your favorite summer-time dishes?

Roasted chicken, blue crabs, sweet fresh corn.

What dish do you find most fun to prepare?

Pork Milanese. It’s a new item on our menu.

What’s your favorite summer-time cocktail?

I’m a beer guy — anything from Dog’s Fish head, or Devil’s Ale from San Tan Brewing Co.

Why should Arizonans head down to Calistro Bistro this summer?

We serve really honest food and drink in a great atmosphere. We create a unique experience for our guests, and we offer approachable food with outstanding customer service.

Anything else you’d like us to know about yourself or Calistro Bistro?

I’m a relentless guy; I am pursuing perfection. We are a guest-driven restaurant, and I strive to make them happy every time they come. We are trying to put out a great product and build our guest relations. People should give us a shot.

Gerald Allen, Calistro Bistro Chef

For more information about Executive Chef Gerald Allen or Calistro California Bistro at Hilton Village, visit

Calistro Bistro at Hilton Village
6107 N. Scottsdale Rd., #110, Scottsdale
(480) 656-5244

ShopKeep POS

Business Makes Technological Leap With Shopkeep’s iPad POS System

Stacey Barnes, owner of Scottsdale GoodyTwo’s, shares the benefits of using Shopkeep’s cloud-based, iPad POS System for easier transactions and manageability.

Bulky, noisy and generally unattractive, cash registers are not particularly glamorous, and by today’s standards have limited functionality. And local businesses, including GoodyTwos Toffee Company, have upgraded to a much more economical, manageable and accessible point of sale (POS) system for the tech-savvy age — ShopKeep’s cloud-based POS.

ShopKeep POSLike many business owners, Stacey Barnes and Donna Gabrilson of GoodyTwos Toffee Company (founded in 2004 by the mother/daughter duo) decided to make the upgrade and switched to the sleekly-housed, web-based program, which delivers the cash register’s essential capability, while also providing data that informs smart, timely business decisions.

ShopKeep POS not only receives your payment, it simplifies and automates the complicated process of reporting on sales, which permits business owners to track up-to-the-second sales data and inventory. This data can be segmented and presented in multiple formats, enabling business owners to make better decisions. This same data can also be accessed from any device because all of the intelligence is stored in the cloud.

Shopkeep created an app for the iPad,” Barnes says. “The iPad was more affordable compared to the other hardware you would have to buy with traditional POS.”

With iPad registers and a streamlined back-end portal, ShopKeep utilizes tools that assist small businesses to grow more cost effectively, minimizing time, labor and the risk of the unknown.

I can see daily, monthly, annual, top selling items and what time of the day is the busiest for GoodyTwos,” Barnes says. “You can generate reports, manage your inventory and control your employee access ― all of which helps us run our business smarter.”

Chris Pace, managing principal of Congruity Solutions, is an authorized reseller partner for ShopKeep for the Phoenix area, and he personally installed ShopKeep at GoodyTwos.

Pace encourages owners and managers of businesses small and large to make the switch.

ShopKeep is simple in design; young and old alike use Apple technology, so the learning curve is quite simple for most people,” Pace says. “Large companies benefit from having data outside of their walls, with tighter security and redundant backup, all with no incremental hardware investment. Cloud-based systems mean you only pay for what you use.”

Barnes and Gabrilson say they are confident that the switch to the cloud-based POS represents their dedication to a quality product with an innovative twist.

The system allows us to show our brand in a new, exciting way,” Gabrilson says. “GoodyTwos has always been about our wholesome products showcased in a modern, fun light, and this adds an element of technology.”

For the ladies of GoodyTwos Toffee, Shopkeep has made managing their business and checking out customers not only more efficient, but also a bit sweeter.

For more information about GoodyTwos or ShopKeep, visit and, respectively.

Work-to-Play Wardrobe

3 Must-Haves For Your Summer Work-to-Play Wardrobe

It’s that time of the year again — summertime in Arizona. Grueling, sun-filled days and long steamy nights. No guilt attached for orchestrating an impromptu happy hour with friends or co-workers to replenish after the days drudgery.

With this enduring season officially upon us, putting together a versatile, elegant work-to-play wardrobe can be a challenge. To save you frustration and time, we’ve listed three affordable, must-haves for your summer wardrobe, along with trendy examples of how to wear and accessorize each selection.

These easy-to-achieve looks will take you seamlessly from day to night, without breaking a sweat!

The Floral Blazer


This piece will look great paired with just about anything. But for a polished, professional look, try a sleek black or grey pencil skirt (or even a pair of loose trouser shorts) matched with a flowing, brightly-colored tank. Finish the look with some strappy, nude sandals or peep-toe wedges.


Ditch the blazer, and showcase your brilliant tank top. Add that “wow” factor by applying a vibrant lip (reds and pastels are very in this season). When it comes to spicing up your outfit, accessorizing is simple and very effective. A cute, sequined clutch or a chunky, turquoise necklace will do the trick.

Cropped Pastel Pants


If you’re even remotely attuned to fashion trends, than you’re no stranger to the pastel cropped pants craze. There are several different variations of this pant (a trouser and a more casual approach), and either would work great for the office.

Pair the pant with a sleek, earthy-hued racerback. Throw on some comfortable, glossy flats, and add some loose, beach wave curls to top off the look.


Bring this look to the next level by replacing your reliable flats with a pair of metallic espadrilles or bright, patent-leather slingbacks. Add a bold, delicate necklace and a shoulder bag to complete the outfit.

Bold Print Dress


The luxury of a bold print dress is that you can find just about any shape or cut, making it incredibly easy to flatter any body type. Take this dress to work by adding a featherweight, short-sleeved cardigan. A pair of neutral booties adds polish and keeps the focus on the dress pattern.


Retire the cardigan and throw your hair up into a messy, braided bun. Add a set of bold earrings (be sure they don’t conflict with the pattern or color of your dress) to seal the deal.

Where to look for your work-to-play wardrobe:

Thanks to the present popularity for such items, many local stores, including H&M, Gap, Forever 21, J.Crew, Banana Republic and Nordstrom, have mastered these chic, unique pieces.

Fight Ready

Fight Ready To Hold Camps For Kids To Combat Bullying, Obesity

Fight Ready, Arizona’s leading martial arts academy, is holding a two-week-long summer camp for kids between the ages of 8-14 geared towards anti-bullying and building leadership skills while improving confidence and fitness through the martial arts.

Fight Ready will teach children anti-bullying techniques that will reduce their likelihood of attack, in addition to self-defense techniques designed to effectively and safely disengage from physical altercations.

Domonique Moore, Fight Ready rep, says, “Most of the kids in our program are there for the same reason; they were bullied in school or sports. Almost every year, Fight Ready (formerly the Lion’s Den), has offered a martial arts summer camp to our members. This year, I wanted to make a larger impact in the community and reach out to as many children as possible, in an effort to help remove bullying in schools, sports and online.”

Through these methods, Fight Ready aims to teach kids how to recognize, refuse and report bullying, as well as to be assertive and build relationships. Studies have found this youth program reduces the occurrence of bullying by 31 percent, and helps cut down the destructive behavior in kids by 70 percent when compared to the national average.

Empowering kids to harness their inner confidence is what this program is all about, and we are very proud to be able to say we make a difference,” Moore says.

The camp will also include sports conditioning to improve kids’ overall fitness level. This will also give them a competitive advantage in any sport they’re currently involved in, or will become involved with, the following school year.Fight Ready

The martial arts portion will cover the basics of wrestling, grappling, Brazilian jiu- jitsu, boxing, muay Thai and judo throws, giving kids a broad, beginner martial arts base.

Pre-registration is required; each session limited to 20 kids:

Session 1: June 4-8 and 11-15
Session 2: June 9-1 and 16-20
Cost: $250
Location: 2954 N Hayden Rd., Scottsdale
Contact: (480) 941-5466

For more information about Fight Ready, visit