Author Archives: Roxy Baldovin

Roxy Baldovin

About Roxy Baldovin

Roxana Baldovin came to Arizona from New York City to attend the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Currently a junior, she is studying broadcast journalism and film and media studies. Roxana loves the arts and traveling, having been to 5 continents and over 30 countries in her 19 years on this planet. She lives by the phrase "hakuna matata", for everything will play itself out in the end.


Terés Nail Bar, The Best Thing to Happen to Nails Since Polish

There’s a new nail bar in town, and I must forewarn you, don’t step inside unless you can come back again and again. terés | A NAIL BAR, located on Indian School Rd. in Old Town Scottsdale, is a quaint space with high ceilings, boasting an earthy feel to it. This might seem contradictory, but terés is a contradiction in and of itself.

As a self-proclaimed “avid nail consumer,” nail bar founder Courtney Steele felt there was no middle ground in service or quality for nail salons and explained that every aspect of her salon comes back to value. This emphasis is definitely nailed into the salon’s concept.

Along with the mango-flavored aloe water you are handed as you walk in, you also receive a “bar tab” that can be customized to your needs. This can especially come in handy on mother-daughter dates when a mom wants to be pampered and her daughter simply needs a color change. Each mani/pedi can have an add-on luxury, ranging from a sugar scrub to a 10-minute massage, and each luxury comes with a “remedy” — the aromatherapy of your choice depending on your mood of the day.

The selection of treatments is just as diverse as the women who work at terés; there’s the punk-rock girl with bright red hair; the cute, little hipster blonde chick; and Vicki Zarek, the 50-something Illinois native who’s seemingly too cool for her age. I had the pleasure of getting my nails done by Vicki, who’s also the co-manager of terés. She explains terés’ business plan best: “luxury services at affordable prices.” While this is definitely true, you can find yourself getting so sucked in by these “affordable prices” that they slowly add up until you’re walking out with a $70 mani/pedi — like I did.

However, the salon is definitely the trendiest I’ve seen, and coming from a NYC native, that is saying something! The salon may be lacking on its color selection, but it makes up for it with a glitter tray that has every shade of ROY G BIV a girl can ask for. The nail bar also offers caviar nails, the newest thing in 3D nail art. Courtney is also open to suggestions, and explains that Pinterest is the greatest source for all things new. If you want to come in and have your nails done a certain way, bring a picture, and the girls will try their best to accommodate you.

terés | a nail bar

7120 E. Indian School Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 499-4901
Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sat., 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.



Q&A With Howard Hughes, Owner Of Stand-Up, Scottsdale!

Howard Hughes, Arizona native and owner of Stand-Up Scottsdale!, sat down with us and talked about how he got into the comedy business, who his inspirations are and what Stand-Up, Scottsdale! is really all about. Hughes was refreshingly honest, referring to his club as a “B” club for its capacity (which seemed cozy) and the headliners they receive (a majority of the Chelsea Lately panel and Comedy Central Presents comedians).

How does it feel sharing a name with the former richest man in the world?

It was tough as a kid because all throughout school all the teachers would be taking role, and they’d always laugh when they came to my name.  All the teachers would be in the same room, with no walls, so they’d always come to my name, look at the other teachers and say, “Who? Which one of you is Howard Hughes?” I never knew why they laughed, but now that I’m older, nobody even knows who he is. Everyone thought he was a weatherman until Aviator came out, and it all came back.

Who would you want to play you in a biopic if you had one?

Daniel Radcliffe because he has to be younger — a lot younger.

Who are your biggest comedic inspirations?

Bill Cosby when I was a little kid. When I was in talent shows, I’d reenact his albums. I love Ron White, Lewis Black and Louis C.K. I don’t like the “silliness” comedy where they’re just saying dumb things. I like for people to be engaged and listening. A lot of people think that laughter is the only response to comedy, but it’s not. You can have a whole range of emotions. I was 35 when I ended up in Hollywood and comedy was always something I wanted to do, so I took a class.

So this started late in your life?

Yeah, super late. The classes are all about teaching you how to be funny. There is a way to write a joke if you want to do that, but you can’t teach somebody how to be a great comedian. It’s so individual to you that nobody can teach you how to do that, so if you start speaking or writing the way you’ve developed in some class, people immediately know when it’s fake and that doesn’t sell.

Tell me your best joke.

There’s a specific time, place and opportunity where people are really ready for a joke and that’s the great thing about a comedy club. It’s got to be tight, it’s got to be dark, it’s got to be cold; it’s got to be a little unsafe where people are just sitting next to strangers because then they’re uneasy, and they’re open to anything that’s comforting. I do a lot of comedy about being older but not having anything that people my age generally have. I’m still acting like the 22-year-old kid that didn’t have any responsibilities.

So you’re a bachelor?

Yeah, I’m a bachelor. It’s a lot about things like that — getting married, getting divorced, and drugs and things that everybody’s been through on one level or another but no one ever talks about. If someone in the audience can come up with your punch line, then that’s not comedy worth paying for.

Do you feel like you have a steady crowd that comes here?

Yeah, without a doubt. We haven’t done a whole lot of advertising, but it’s really word of mouth that’s been building us. We just got a new investment group, so we have a large group that is bought in; that will happen this week. The marketing is going to look a lot different, a lot more aggressive.

Do you perform weekly here, too?

Yes, every single week.

What advice would you have for people trying to get into stand up comedy?

Just to go out and do it. You’re never going to be ready, and no matter how much time you put into preparing yourself, everything you do in your first year you’re probably not going to be doing in your second. It’s one of those things where there’s a lot of ego involved.

When a joke bombs, how do you deal with it?

It depends on where you’re at in comedy. A lot of guys who have been doing it for 10 years don’t even acknowledge it because they know the joke works, it just didn’t work right now so — boom – on to the next one.

That’s a good attitude!

It’s a hard attitude; it’s like being a hot chick and having someone not think you’re pretty. At the stage where I’m at, five years in, if something bombs, I generally call it out. It’s a technique in comedy where you don’t pretend like something didn’t happen. Everyone heard the plate break, so it’s a split decision to just roll through it or bring it in to your act.

Do you feel like you do a lot of improv on stage?

Yeah, that’s kind of the stage I’m at now. The problem with improv is to make it fresh, original and relevant every time you do it. A lot of people do improv, and it’s the same “improv” every time they do it. That’s where the integrity in what kind of comedian you are comes in because you instantly have to tell your brain, “Don’t say that again!” Comedy is a lot like being a clown, and I don’t like that, and I don’t let that come here. You have to be a super original clown to be like, “Man, I’m really glad I saw that clown.”

So like a Cirque Du Soleil clown?

A good comedian is more like a matador though, it looks like somebody is just stabbing a bull but that’s not just what’s happening – that’s the least of what’s happening. There’s a whole lot of artistry and tradition that goes in there and until you train your eye to really see it and recognize it you don’t know it, you just perceive it on an under your skin level.

For more information about Howard Hughes and Stand-Up, Scottsdale!, visit

Extreme Sport, Arizona Adventures

Extreme Sports And Other Arizona Adventures For Thrill Seekers

Extreme Sports And Other Arizona Adventures For Thrill Seekers

If you ever heard yourself complain about the lack of things to do in Arizona, look no further than your front door. Heavy in natural wonder, Arizona is an extraordinary place to do out-of-the-ordinary things, especially extreme sports.

Trapeze U

Extreme Sport, Arizona Adventures

Have you ever dreamed of trapezing P.T Barnum style? At Trapeze U, dubbed the “Institute of Higher Learning,” your dreams of flying high can become your reality. Located in Gilbert, classes range from “fly-bys” (one-time go arounds on the swings) to an eight-week long “fundamentals of flight” course. A juggling course is also offered. Fun for the whole family, children as young as four years old can have a test run on the swings.

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If You Go:
14407 E. Pecos Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85295
(888) 872-7101[/stextbox]

Skydive Phoenix

Skydiving: what many consider the ultimate adrenaline rush. While it can seem more than a little frightening, the truth is you’re actually more likely to die in a car accident backing out of your driveway. Plus, humans have no perception of height, so at 15,000 feet up, you’ll still feel like you’re simply on a roller coaster. Located at the Estrella Sailport in Maricopa, Skydive Phoenix offers the “highest tandem (14,000 ft.) for the lowest price” in all of Arizona!

[stextbox id="grey"]If You Go:
22548 N. Sailport Way
Maricopa, AZ 85139
(480) 557-JUMP (5867)[/stextbox]

Phoenix Hang Gliding

Hang gliding … it gives us wings! Although the best place to soar in Arizona is Mingus Mountain in Prescott, South Mountain in Phoenix offers an amazing experience as well.

[stextbox id="grey"]If You Go:
(800) 260-8763

360 Adventures (rock climbing and more)

You can’t talk about extreme sports in Arizona without stating the obvious: rock climbing! If you don’t have much outdoors experience, no problem. Tours such as those offered at 360 Adventures are available for beginners and advanced climbers alike. 360 also offers canyoneering, biking, hiking and other tours of the sort for your enjoyment.

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If You Go:
(888) 722-0360


Desert Dog (ATV desert tours)

Desert Dog, as seen on the Travel Channel, is Arizona’s premier ATV desert tour company. Adventures range from scenic and sonoran to extreme and “desert stormin’.”

[stextbox id="grey"]If You Go:
17212 E. Shea Blvd.
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
(NW corner of Shea Blvd & Beeline Hwy (Hwy 87)
(480) 837-3966[/stextbox]

Yucca Tap Room

Yucca Tap Room Stays True To The Bands For 40 Years

When Rodney Hu’s father founded Yucca Tap Room nearly 40 years, he wanted to stay true to the bands, never wavering any commitment to the local music scene. So they decided against charging a cover. 

And they still don’t.

Yucca Tap RoomSo how does the family owned and operated music venue stay successful and remain afloat?

They give the bands a percentage of the bar tab — considered a win-win situation for both the patrons of the show and the musicians playing the show. Customers are getting more bang for their buck, with the would-be $5 or $10 going towards alcohol rather than their foot in the door.

“It gives the bands motivation to promote the show because they aren’t tied to the door charge,” says Hu, owner of Yucca Tap Room.

Hu has seen Yucca Tap Room transform from a “local cowboys bar, to a bikers bar to a local cheers bar.” But the loyalty to the music has never changed.

While Yucca has had no problem attracting a variety of crowds, entertaining the crowd of social media enthusiasts is still the biggest change that Yucca, like most businesses, has had to adapt to.

Yucca Tap Room“Before, it was the occasional radio or newspaper ad, but now there are so many different social networking tools that we must be on top of with other channels of advertising,” Hu says. “It adds a whole new element to things.”

Although its one of oldest venues in the Valley, Yucca continues to strive to “stay relevant.” About two years ago, Yucca Tap Room added a microdistillery, which has since boomed in popularity.

“Customers’ palettes have changed,” Hu says. “They’re no longer simply craving Coors Light or Bud Light. As the public gets more educated, they request more craft beers. Everybody wants to try new flavors.”

Hu’s next phase? Adding more unique whiskeys, gins and vodkas. The process has already started with specialty bourbon and scotch, and the bar has already doubled in size.

Finding your own niche is key, yes. But for potential entrenprenuers and struggling ones alike, Hu gives this advice: “Make sure before you take the leap, to look at your project from all angles,” he says. “Know what you’re getting into. Study what it’s about and all the different headaches and risks involved.”

According to Hu, the most important universal entity for any business is the customer.

“At the end of the day, customers keep it running,” Hu says. “Give the demographic you’re catering what they want. You don’t want people talking bad about your business.”

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If You Go: Yucca Tap Room

29 W. Southern Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85282
(480) 967 4777


Earth, National Geographic

10 Top National Geographic Photos

National Geographic: “Inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888.”

For me, it has been an inspiration since 1992, the year I came to exist on the planet. My parents have had a subscription to National Geographic ever since I can remember, and my attic now acts as an archive for past Nat Geo mags, aging as far back as 1976.

Although I’ve been blessed to travel to remote parts of the world, no one can ever see all the world has to offer, and National Geographic has taken me (and countless others) to parts of Earth that remain virtually unseen; it has also shown me images I see every day in a new light.

Here are 10 of the best photos over the past year I’ve come across on National Geographic’s website:


National Geographic
This photo speaks volumes of the world; nothing is out of bounds. The world is limitless. The surfer is about to embark on an epic moment, one that the viewer can only imagine, yet there is something so serene about the picture — one man, his surfboard and the endless blocks of ice.In regards to this picture, photographer Catherine Karnow said, “Sometimes it’s powerful not to seize the moment, but to show utter stillness instead [...] because he’s standing still, we notice the graceful, curved shape of his wetsuit, which contrasts with the sharpness of the surfboard and icicles.” Yet another juxtaposition on the eye and the world.


 National Geographic
This picture was taken five days after Nyamulagira erupted in Virunga National Park in the Congo. To not only see the lava and fumes flowing out of the top but to also watch the ranger as he overlooks this natural occurrence is captivating. Lava flows are heading north into an uninhabited area of the park and aren’t expected to displace or harm any humans, although a family of chimps may have to shift ground, officials say.


 National Geographic
Sometimes humans forget that they share the world with what seems like an infinite amount of species. This picture so perfectly captures a moment between a mama grizzly bear and her young. However, it also illustrates the issue on the animals of North America’s largest oil field, Prudhoe Bay, and their habituation to feeding on human trash due to the contamination people and unnatural oil fields have had on the planet.Prudhoe Bay, operated by BP and owned in part by ExxonMobil and Conoco Phillips, is trying to alleviate the situation by putting lids on their dumpsters and educating workers on the long-term effects of feeding bears and foxes.


 National Geographic
At 2,723 feet, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is easily the tallest building in the world, more than 1,000 feet taller than it’s predecessor, the Taipei 101 in Taiwan. Every October, Dubai receives a lot of fog because of the mixture of still-high humidity and falling temperatures.Similar to the contrasting weather patterns, the stark constrast between natural flowing beauty and the placement of equally beautiful, man-made structures makes for a truly breathtaking picture that says, “Look how high we can go.” Always reach for the clouds because we can get there (in more ways than one)!


 National Geographic
Between the vast ocean, the mountains on the horizon and the diagonal symmetry of the BASE jumper and the tallest building on the beach, you feel a sense of adrenaline running through you simply by looking at the photograph. The photo is also a perfect example that rules are meant to be broken; the composition is determined by the subject of a photo.I would have to agree with photographer Catherine Karnow in that the best part of the shot is the cropped foot at the top: “It’s as if the jumper is safely held in place by the top of the frame. But we know that this is false, that he’s in fact held by nothing,” Karnow says.


 National Geographic
Aurora Borealis is arguably one of nature’s strangest and most beautiful phenomenons (but then again, what about nature isn’t strange and beautiful?). Taken in Iceland, the photo illustrates the simplest form of photography: capturing such a pure, still moment in nature and showing it to the world. It’s hard to imagine such an illuminated green sky. It’s almost as if aliens are saying, “Greetings, Earthlings. We are here. And we are watching you.” In a peaceful way, of course.


 National Geographic
This innovative underwater sculpture park located in Grenada is a true testament to what the human mind can accomplish. The park can be viewed at all angles; from a glass water boat or up close and personal by snorkeling and/or diving.”The physical nature of the underwater world is vastly different from that of dry land,” says sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor of his work. “Objects appear 25 percent larger underwater, and as a consequence they also appear closer. Colours alter as light is absorbed and reflected at different rates, with the depth of the water affecting this further.”


 National Geographic
This is by far the most amazing picture of a ferris wheel I’ve ever seen. Taken at a Kansas State Fair, the photo “mimics a giant Lite-Brite toy.” The lights, while manic, make you forget about the long lines that come with park rides and instead bring the beauty back.


National Geographic
Nujood Ali of Yemen was married and divorced … by the age of 10. Her courageous and almost unheard of act of running away from her abusive, much older husband has made her an international heroine for women’s rights. To see a genuine smile on the girl as she looks to the sky in hopes of a promising future is truly inspiring. The little girl is looking to the photographer as if he is being invasive, and she doesn’t approve — a great capture.


National Geographic
This photo, taken in New Zealand, is absolutely breathtaking. People think they are larger than life, but when standing next to a 45-foot-long, 70-ton whale, we are shown how small we really are.The diver in the photo recalls the moment: “At some point I stopped and kneeled on the sand to catch my breath, and I was certain the whale would just keep swimming. Instead, the whale also stopped, turned, and hovered over me as it stared with that soulful eye.”
Holiday Lights at McCormick Stillman Railroad Park, Scottsdale

Scottsdale Holiday Events In December

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and with so much to do in Scottsdale this time of year, you’ll never be bored!

Here are some Scottsdale holiday events taking place December 2011:

2011 Holiday Pet Festival

Holiday Pet Show at WestWorld

This is the largest holiday pet event in Arizona. If you’re looking for a new baby to call your own, you’ll find hundreds of animals here. If not, there will still be plenty of activities, demonstrations and exhibitions that are fun for you and your pets alike.

For more information, visit the Holiday Pet Festival’s website.

[stextbox id="grey"]2011 Holiday Pet Festival
Saturday, December 3rd
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Westworld of Scottsdale
16601 N. Pima Rd.[/stextbox]

Holiday Harmony

Holiday Harmony is the city’s annual holiday “tree lighting” event. This is a free event and fun for the whole family. There will be live performances, interactive booths and, of course, a visit from Santa — as well as some snow! The Mayor will be lighting the tree at 6:15 p.m.

For more information, visit Scottsdale’s website.

[stextbox id="grey"]Holiday Harmony
Sunday, December 4th
3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Scottsdale Mall
3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.[/stextbox]

Holiday Art Show

Holiday Art Show Seniors

The Holiday Art Show at the Via Linda Senior Center features the talent and creativity of local artists enrolled in the City of Scottsdale’s recreation classes. In addition to the art on display, local jazz group APEXX will be performing, and refreshments will be served. While the event is free to the public, they do ask that you bring a canned food item to donate to the Vista Del Camino Food Bank.

[stextbox id="grey"]Holiday Art Show
Thursday, December 8th
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Via Linda Senior Center. 10440 E. Via Linda[/stextbox]

Holiday Lights at McCormick Stillman Railroad Park

McCormick LightsHoliday Lights at McCormick Stillman Railroad Park will be on display every night, except for Christmas Eve and Day from December 9th to December 30th. However, this event has more than just lights; there will be a train and carousel rides for $2 (children under 3 ride for free), and opening night festivities include a tree light ceremony and a visit from Santa, who will be at the park through December 23.

For more information, visit the Railroad Park’s website.

[stextbox id="grey"]Holiday Lights at McCormick Stillman Railroad Park
December 9 – 30 (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
McCormick Stillman Railroad Park
7301 E. Indian Bend Rd. [/stextbox]

New Years Eve Party at the Montelucia Resort and Spa

If you’re looking to ring in the new year with style and grace, look no further than the Montelucia Resort and Spa’s New Years Eve party. The Montelucia New Years package includes two nights of luxury accommodations, one 50-minute detoxifying treatment, a bottle of Champagne delivered to your room upon arrival, two tickets to the NYE party and a complimentary resort fee. The package is valid through January 1, 2012. Rates from $399 per night.

For more information, visit Montelucia’s website.

[stextbox id="grey"]New Years Eve Party at the Montelucia Resort and Spa
December 31, 2011
7 p.m.
4949 E. Lincoln Dr.[/stextbox]

The Nutcracker, Ballet Arizona Dancers

Ballet Arizona, Ib Andersen Gear Up For The Nutcracker

Every fall, dancers embark on a journey that they’ve been on time and time again: the story of the Nutcracker. The Nutcracker, an epic ballet in two parts, is an elaborate production filled with intricate detail — both in costume and emotions — so it’s no wonder that it is one of the most performed ballets in the world. But why does it never get old? Ib Andersen,choreographer, Ballet Arizona

According to Ballet Arizona choreographer of 12 years, Ib Andersen,  it’s not so much about the dancing as it is about the music, composer Tchaikovsky’s score.

“It has an amazing score — just absolutely gorgeous music,” Andersen says. “Without that, it would be very hard to do the show every year. It keeps it plausible.”

Dancer Joseph Cavanaugh, one of few veterans of the company who has been with Ballet Arizona since 2000, agrees.

“When people think of the holidays, they think of the music of the Nutcracker,” Cavanaugh says. “To hear it live is really beautiful, and the ballet itself is magical because it carries you through so many different emotions. It starts with a party, and then Clara has a dream that takes you to a scary place of rats and small soldiers; adults really enjoy the child’s imagination that comes to life. Not to mention that the snow on stage takes you to a different world.”

What’s it like dancing with the snow? According to Cavanaugh, Dancers are constantly slipping and falling throughout rehearsals, and sometimes they’ll even find snow in their clothing up to a year later.

The production itself is also new. While the dancing is the same, “new life was given to it with newer costumes and aesthetics,” Cavanaugh says. “We also have better dancers now than 10 years ago.”

In the world of ballet, your career ends in your 30′s, and if you’re lucky, when you’re 40. Your career usually starts, however, around seven years of age. Andersen, a Denmark native, started attending a theater school at that age.

In fact, Andersen was one of two dancers left in the dance program when he graduated at the age of 16, due to the annual end-of-year auditions and exam. The class originally began with 60 people.

“There’s nothing remotely equivalent to that in America,” Andersen says. State-sponsored theater schools with more than 1,000 employees are very popular in Europe and remain so today.Joseph Cavanaugh, Ballet Arizona

For Cavanaugh, his transition into the dance world was a little different. He knew he wanted to dance when he saw MC Hammer perform, so he took a hip-hop and jazz class.

“I thought ballet was a ballerina dancing in a jewelry box,” he adds. “But the connection my mind and body made was so fascinating to me.” He was 16 when he began, and the rest is history.

While Cavanaugh is unusual in the fact that he started late, for the dancing world at least (Andersen says most dancers go professional at 18), Cavanaugh explains that the moves he learns are much like learning to ride a bike — you can stay away from the dance for a few years but once you start dancing again, you will remember how to move the body.

“You know that saying about 10 years or 10,000 hours?” Cavanaugh says. “It’s true. It takes that long to finally feel like you understand a little of what you’re doing, and I do believe it takes that to become better.”

Although Arizona may not be a dance mecca, Cavanaugh stayed with Ballet Arizona to work with Andersen.

“He truly is an artistic director that is interested in all aspects of the company,” Cavanaugh says. “Details matter to him and that matters to me. He taught me that more communication happens in the details, the way you arch your feet can make all the difference.”

Ballet Arizona's The NutcrackerAndersen himself explains that he is a teacher of sorts for his dancers. While he himself has not taken stage in 22 years, he gives his talent to the dancers he directs. “I tell them what to do, what not to do,” he says.

Andersen’s love for the ballet does not go unnoticed. “Even if it is the same ballet, the ballet is like music; you can hear or see it more than once,” Andersen says. “The more you see it, the more you appreciate it. Or the more you hate it,” he laughs.

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The Nutcracker runs from December 9th to December 24th. Tickets start at $17. For more information on the ballet and ticketing, visit Ballet Arizona’s website.




20 Lounge Nail Bar

20 Lounge Boutique's Seasonal Party Pampers And Benefits Charity

Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be a stressful chore. And 20 Lounge Boutique Nail Bar’s first seasonal party will be proof of it, where attendees will not only get some holiday shopping completed, but pamper themselves, too — all in one shot.

The best part? One-hundred percent of the proceeds will go to charity.

Girls on the Run (GOTR), the partnered charity, “is a nonprofit, positive youth development program which combines an evidence-based, interactive curriculum and running to inspire self-respect and healthy lifestyles in preteen girls,” says Meagan Kukowski, executive director of the national charity’s Maricopa County chapter. “It introduces them to a different way of life and changes the way they see themselves and their opportunities.”

While there are more than 500 girls in GOTR communities across the Valley, any girls of GOTR who attend will receive complimentary treatments, and the party itself will fund full scholarships for more than six girls involved in the program.

Guests will be able to drink from the Bubbly Bar, receive mini-treatments ranging from facials to eye treatments to massages, and GOTR reps will be in attendance for those that would like to get involved with the organization.

20 Lounge will offer a 20 percent discount on all retail items and gift certificates as well free gift wrapping on all purchases. All guests will receive gift packages of a 20 Lounge’s retail body butter, wash and scrub.

Each guest will also walk away with a “super-secret gift that is definitely valued at more than the door price,” says Melissa DiGianfilippo, spokesperson for 20 Lounge.

The event even has a “mommy and me” menu geared specifically for mothers and their daughters. “It’s a great way for moms and daughters to get shopping out of the way, spend time together and relax before the holiday rush,” DiGianfilippo says.

20 Lounge Nail BarHowever, this event isn’t just for the ladies; men are welcome, too. While DiGianfilippo says men are more discreet about their pampering indulgence, about 20 percent of attendees are male.

Both parties are very excited for the partnership because, as DiGianfilippo puts it, “GOTR tries to get girls on the wrong track to get on the track of a healthy lifestyle and build self-esteem. We make women beautiful.

“20 Lounge’s mission to empower women and GOTR’s mission to empower teens go hand in hand,” she says.

GOTR is a three-month-long program that combines non-competitive racing for goal-building with a mentor program that gives each girl her own adult to run with.

For more information on GOTR in the Valley, visit

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If You Go: 20 Lounge Boutique Nail Bar

7001 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
Thursday, Dec. 8, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Tickets: Space is limited to the first 100 guests, so pre-registration is suggested. Tickets are available online and can also be purchased at the door, with all proceeds going to Girls on the Run.[/stextbox]


AVEDA Concept Salons

AVEDA Concept Salons

Everyone needs a little rub down every once in a while, but if you don’t have the time or the money to make it to one of Arizona’s world-renowned spas, there are still plenty of places in the East Valley that won’t leave your bank account sore — including AVEDA Concept Salons.

AVEDA, a beauty company that tries to keep it as green as possible, has more than 10 locations in the Valley alone — each salon bearing a different concept but the same key rituals.

AVEDA is Sanskrit for “all knowledge,” based in the Hindu science of longevity, so no matter what salon you go to, you know you will leave with a more spiritual experience than usual.

All of the AVEDA Concept Salons are unique in their specialization of Aromatherapy, with services for all five senses. Upon walking in, you are told to choose a card that will guide your treatments of the day. The card has a little blurb to inspire you, and it describes in detail the aroma that all your treatments will be dowsed in. Stress relieving scalp massages, hand facials or finishing touch to make-up may also be given, free of charge.

AVEDA Mood Swings Salon & Skin Spa

Located on Mill Ave., this Salon is geared more towards the college student than the business woman, which is why they keep it trendy and fresh by displaying a different local artists’ work every two months. Mood Swings is so trendy in fact that it was actually the first of AVEDA’s Lifestyle Salons to make a debut in Arizona. The 5,000-square-feet salon was voted “Best Trendy Salon” by the East Valley Tribune as well as one of the “Top Ten Fastest Growing Salons in the World” at AVEDA’s Congress Festival.

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Mood Swings Salon & Skin Spa

520 S. Mill Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 968-0268
No walk-ins; make a reservation in advance.


‘Ohana Salon & Spa

Located in Scottsdale, this Polynesian-inspired spa tries to take you out of your everyday life and give you a little tropical getaway, if only for an hour or two. ‘Ohana, meaning family in Hawaiian, has a very personal feel to it, and their team makes sure you are treated as if you are the only one in the joint! Winning the AVEDA Earth Month Leader award in 2009 and 2010, ‘Ohana is especially conscious about the products that go into their customers hair and body and if they are good for the mind and body as well as the Earth.

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‘Ohana Salon & Spa

6870 E. 5th Av.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 945-271
Salon Tru

Also located in Scottsdale, Salon Tru is exclusively a hair and nail salon, where walk-ins are welcome. It won the Talk of the Town award for 2009 and 2010 for its exceptional customer service, as well as the No. 1 salon in Scottsdale for 2006 and 2007.

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Salon Tru

7050 E. Indian School Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85281
(480) 947-4830

Perry Monge Salon & Spa

Perry Monge, one of the original AVEDA pure-fessionals, owns and operates this salon. Every service includes a custom hair and scalp analysis with scalp massage, a stress-relieving ritual for your hands and AVEDA color make-up finishing touch. The Perry Monge Salon has won a handful of awards, being featured in Marie Claire and Elle in 2008 as one of the Top Hair Color Salons as well as Top Salons Impacting Hair, respectively.

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Perry Monge Salon
Collier Centers

3 S. Second St., Suite 212
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 253-8885[/stextbox]

SaVant Wellness Salon

This Glendale Salon is all about the modern person looking their most sleek; specializing in runway looks and has even been featured on channel 15′s Sonoran Living & Shopping A to Z. If you’re ready to change your look, this is the place to go.

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SaVant Wellness Salon

5860 W. Thunderbird Rd.
Glendale, AZ 85306
(602) 896-9140


For more information on AVEDA Concept Salons and the rest of their award-winning salons in the Valley, visit

Galeria de los Muertos

The Spirit Of Art Is Surely Alive At Galeria De Los Muertos

The Spirit Of Art Is Surely Alive At Galeria De Los Muertos

If you’re not a fan of First Fridays crowd, Roosevelt Row is hosting virtually the same event, except it’s on the third Friday of each month. Don’t worry about your favorite local artist not being there; if an artist is on the roster for First Friday, they must attend Third Friday as well.

Cindy Dach, executive director of Roosevelt Row, CDC, explains that “Third Friday is less about the crowds and the people watching; it’s focused on the art in the galleries — meeting the artist, celebrating an opening reception … where as First Friday is an arts walk, and it’s as much about the art in the spaces as it is the art on the street — the crowd, the performances, etc.”

“Roosevelt Row’s goal is to become a destination more than one night a month,” Dach says.

However, she says the “attendees are resistant” to transition into nights outside of First Friday because most attendees enjoy attending more crowded events.

“The community needs to be part of the process and not just wait for the end result,” she says. “It’s a transformation that will happen in partnership with the galleries, businesses, restaurants and the community at large.”

Galeria de los Muertos: One-Year Anniversary

Galeria de los Muertos

At October’s Third Friday extravaganza, there will be a special event celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Galeria de los Muertos. The gallery combines traditional Mexican macabre art with rowdy events, and its birthday party will prove no different.

The infamous Dr. Reverend Stephen Strange, leader of the Strange Family Circus, will be hosting the event. It also happens to be the opening of the gallery’s Dia de los Muertos exhibit and the debut American exhibition of award-winning Italian artist Natascia Raffio.

Strange has been a major part of the Phoenix art community for years, and as the ringleader of The Strange Family Circus, his blend of freak and funk is what ultimately lead to his hosting of Galeria’s first anniversary.

The Stange Family Circus — or as an audience member dubbed “Penn and Teller meets Jackass meets Cabaret” — will also be performing their sideshow act, reminiscent of early 20th century circus road shows.

Galeria de los Muertos

Other events include a fashion show by local Phoenix designers, such as MissConstrued, Modified Minds and El Vaquero Muerto, an art raffle benefiting the Brenda Casten Leukemia fund and a fire dance by Burden Blossom, which will complement Romantasy Cabaret’s sensual burlesque act.

Photographer Tommy Pemberton, who will be running a photo booth, is delighted to be part of the celebration because the gallery has held his attention from the moment he walked in.

Catering will be provided by the Tamale Store and Mama Toledo’s pies, for a night of food, fun and funk.


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If You Go: Galeria de los Muertos

905 N. 5th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(818) 802-2002



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The Row also has live music nearly every night at places such as Lost Leaf, Carly’s, Turf, Revolver, Modified Arts, etc.

For more info on Roosevelt Row and a calendar of upcoming events, visit their website.


Crescent Ballroom

Musicians Begin Howling At The Crescent Ballroom

For those looking to drink and dance rather than drink and drive, consider the Crescent Ballroom, located off the Van Buren and Central Ave. light rail stop in downtown Phoenix — also walking distance from Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix Campus.

Owner Charlie Levy considers the location ideal himself. “Opening up my own music venue is something I’ve always wanted to do, but it wasn’t until I stumbled upon this place that I thought ‘this is it.’ ”

Along with the crowd-friendly location, the ballroom, which can accommodate about 500 people, has historical significance that ultimately hooked Levy. The 7,000 sq. foot space, built in 1917, was once the F.L Hart Garage for cars along the Dixie Overland Highway, America’s only coast-to-coast highway, now known as U.S. Highway 80. This building has been here to watch Phoenix transform from a farm-heavy community to a pavement-heavy metropolis.

Although Levy is originally from Louisiana, he himself has watched Phoenix transform before his very eyes; he says it’s “unbelievable” how exponentially Phoenix is growing.

While attending ASU, Levy started his work in the field as a concert director for the student government and then briefly left school to work as a production assistant and talent buyer for a local production company, the Evening Star. He left the Evening Star to go back to school, and has since ventured on his own, leading to the creation of the Crescent.Crescent Ballroom

Crescent hosts local favorites such as Black Carl and Courtney Marie Andrews, as well as a variety of nationally known singers/songwriters in every genre, including Deer Tick (indie-folk), Rachael Yamagata (blues-rock) and Das Racist (alt. hip-hop). And Crescent Ballroom doesn’t have a booking policy.

“We love good music and host a wide range of singers and songwriters, from R&B to pop — there’s something for everyone,” Levy says.

The concert hall does not stand alone, however. There is also a lounge with full-bar service and free, live music everyday, as well as the option to order food from its restaurant, Cocina 10.

Cocina 10 is located within the ballroom, and while the menu is still in progress, the cuisine will be “Mexican-accented road food,” Levy says. He assembled his two favorite chefs from the Valley, Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco and Doug Robson of Gallo Blanco, and he also teamed up with Tucker Woodbury, owner of the Rocking Horse and the Vig in Arcadia, to make the Crescent all it could be. Woodbury has had a long-time background in night life and eateries, especially in the Phoenix area.

Levy’s goal? “To have a place for people to come and enjoy live music, and for the artists to also have a great night and experience.”

For more information and for a calendar of upcoming concerts, visit the Crescent Ballroom’s website.

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If  You Go: Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Parking is $5; exact change is a must.


Arizona Technology Council Upcoming Events

Upcoming Arizona Technology Council Events

The Arizona Technology Council strives to connect all aspects of Arizona’s budding technological and business expansion. Producing over 100 events a year, the Arizona Technology Council is driven by its vicious ambition to network.

Arizona is exponentially getting bigger and better and by hosting a wide array of events all over the state, the Arizona Technology Council’s main goal is to work alongside this growth and connect the state with more opportunities. They offer a member-to-member discount program and assist in creating employee plans including health, dental, vision, disability, property/casualty and business liability.

Some of Arizona Technology Council’s upcoming events include:

Women in the Workforce Committee: The Economics of Sustainability from a Fresh Perspective, presented by Infusionsoft

The Women in the Workforce Committee are hosting this lecture, focusing specifically on the importance of being green in Arizona and how you can do it most effectively. Featured speakers include Kimber Lanning (Founder of LocalFirst Arizona), Vanessa Bechtol (Executive Director of Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance) and Greg Peterson (Founder of Urban Farm).

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/5/2011, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: SkySong
475 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
How much: Free for members; $25 for non-members[/stextbox]

Lunch and Learn: Leadership Development – Dealing with Bad Behavior at Work, presented by Thunderbird Online

Christine Pearson, Ph.D., Professor of Global Leadership at Thunderbird School of Global Management and an expert on dysfucntional workplace behavior, will be hosting this event. The event is ideal for business professionals who are currently managing employees and/or are looking to enhance their leadership skills in the future. Professor Pearson will also be giving away two copies of her recent book, “The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It.”

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/11/2011, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: SkySong
1475 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
How much: Free for members; $15 for non-members[/stextbox]

Lunch and Learn: Leadership Development – Dealing with Bad Behavior at Work, presented by Thunderbird Online

Christine Pearson, Ph.D., Professor of Global Leadership at Thunderbird School of Global Management and an expert on dysfucntional workplace behavior, will be hosting this event. The event is ideal for business professionals who are currently managing employees and/or are looking to enhance their leadership skills in the future. Professor Pearson will also be giving away two copies of her recent book, “The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It.”

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/11/2011, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: SkySong
1475 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
How much: Free for members; $15 for non-members[/stextbox]

Council Connect: Brand Your Business Like Your Favorite Restaurant, presented by Miss Details Design

Miss Details Design, the leading sensory design firm for service-related businesses with an emphasis in the hospitality industry, has assembled a panel of branding experts to share their secrets on how to create an engaging brand.

The lecture will feature panelists Paul Shashaty, marketing and brand manager of Desert Island Restaurants and Kate Unger, senior marketing VP of Kahala, the franchising company that owns Cold Stone Creamery, Blimpie, and more. Marketing directors, restaurant professionals and business owners looking to up their brand should attend this event.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/19/2011, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Where: Seasons 52
2502 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85016
How much: $25 for members; $45 for non-members[/stextbox]

VIP Networking Event: Presented by Microsoft Corporation

The Arizona Technology Council and the Microsoft Corperation are hosting the quarterly VIP Networking Event. The VIP Networking Reception will include opening remarks by AZTC President & CEO Steven Zylstra followed by a welcome from the Microsoft Corporation.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/20/11, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Where: Microsoft Corporation
60 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., 12th Floor
Tempe, AZ 85281
How much: $15 for members; $25 for non-members[/stextbox]

Lunch and Learn: How to Secure Your Mobile Devices, presented by Verizon Business

Learn about industry trends, followed by a personal perspective of mobile security as well as an enterprise perspective.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 10/25/2011, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: ITT Technical Institute
5005 S. Wendler Dr.
Tempe, Arizona 85282
How much: Free for members; $15 for non-members[/stextbox]

Council Connect: How to Use QR Codes and SMS to Increase Your Sales, presented by GottyCode

This event will teach you how to implement SMS messaging and QR codes into marketing tactics of your business.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 11/2/2011, 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Where: SkySong
1475 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, Arizona 85257
How much: $15 for members; $25 for non-members[/stextbox]

2011 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation: Arizona Rising

The Governor’s Celebration of Innovation (GCOI) is the Arizona Technology Council’s annual awards gala that honors technology leaders and innovators from across the state. The event attracts more than 1,000 attendees each year for a night of networking, food and entertainment. For 2011, the awards portion of the event will be a theater-style presentation, followed by a sit down and plated dinner.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 11/17/2011, 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Phoenix Convention Center, North Building, 100 Level
100 N. Third St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
How much: $15 for members; $25 for non-members[/stextbox]

1st Annual Requirements Conference for Arizona’s Aerospace, Aviation & Defense Community

AA&D industry primes to discuss requirements for their business success, collaboration between Arizona industry stakeholders, and advancing innovation and technology through the SBIR/STTR opportunities.

[stextbox id="grey"]When: 1/25/12 (Networking/Exhibition) – 1/26/11 (Main Conference), Time TBD
How much: $35/75 for members; $45/100 for non-members[/stextbox]

Visit the Arizona Technology Council’s website
for more information. In order to attend an event, you must register.


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Out of Africa Entrance

An Out-Of-Africa Arizona Safari

Ever dream about a safari vacation in the Serengeti? Have your kids been begging you for a day where they can play with impalas and jaguars? (And I’m not talking about cars, you American junkie.)

Well, look no further than our own Southwestern jewel of Sedona for an African experience that’s Out of Africa … and this world.

Out of Africa Wildlife Park sits on 104 acres of land atop Mingus Mountain, overlooking the spectacular red rocks and San Francisco Peaks.arizona safari out of africa

In its 23 years, Out of Africa has held no boundaries. Founders Dean and Prayeri Harrison dreamt of a land where species could interact with one another as naturally as they do in Africa, and as their homepage suggests, “the concept of oneness is illustrated with unsurpassed majesty.”

Although I visited the park two years ago, my mother still talks about how she came to understand the expression, “you’re laughing like a hyena!” She saw them in action, laughing, well, like hyenas. My most memorable experience from the park? A giraffe steering his neck to lick pellets out of my hand; I really did feel at one with nature at that point.

Your standard jeep safari is a double-decker trolley that’s usually filled to capacity, but don’t let that turn you off; the tour-guide-slash-walking encyclopedia that knows everything you’d ever want to know about animals makes up for the crowded space. An ostrich egg, the world’s biggest egg, is even passed around to be admired — and boy, let me tell you, that thing is HEAVY. To be precise, they weigh 3 lbs on the average; that’s over 20 times the weight of a chicken egg!

arizona safari out of africa

Hope to see you soon!

If you’d like to keep it personal with your family, there are also more authentic, private tours that come equipped with a park guide and your dream jeep.

The park also has three once-daily shows. Unfortunately my family did not get there on time to watch these seemingly awe-inspiring shows. The Tiger Splash, everyday at 1:15 p.m., has Bengal and Siberian tigers playing fetch and swimming together all the while the MC teaches the audience about how various instinctual, animalistic behaviors become habits.

With the help of a stick and the fence between you, you can also feed a tiger for just $5 (daily at 2 p.m.). If you’d rather watch trainers do the feeding, every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday from 3 – 3:45 p.m., you can see just how much lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) eat as their caretakers lunge up to 800 pounds of raw meat their way in the Predator Feed.

Reptiles more your thing? The interactive snake show occurs daily at 2:15 p.m., where guests are able to touch, pet and hold the serpents as they wish. If you want to paint a big picture of the beauty of wildlife and each animals’ way of life, the best show to see is the Wonders of Wildlife, occurring Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 3 p.m. No matter what route you take, a day at the park is sure to be fun for the whole family, at any age.

The Arizona Safari park is open 7 days a week except Thanksgiving and Christmas day, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission closes at 4 p.m. Children 3 to 12 are $20, adults are $36. Seniors and veterans/active military get discounted. Annual membership is also available.