Monthly Archives: September 2011

Saturday Laughter and TGIF Sentiments



I cannot BELIEVE I have done such a poor job of updating this blog.  I know I keep saying it, but I tell you, when you have a full-time job where you write and edit all day, there is hardly an ounce of creativity left in your little brain at night. 

BUT, no more excuses. I’m back and have LOTS of fun updates on Southwestern Living!

First, I just want to take a second to tell you about how a long distance relationship makes you a more creative person and gives you a passion for finding fun, cheap things to do in whatever city you find yourself in. I’ve always been the kind of girl who likes to try new things on a budget, but when Chris and I started dating and only had a weekend together every 6 weeks or so, I wanted to make sure everything was PERFECT and FUN when I saw him.  As I tried my hardest to show him how wonderful my city was (Boston at the time), I grew that much fonder of it and really got to know its ins and outs.

Now that we’re out here in Arizona together, brand new to everything, that spark for “getting to know” our city is back in full force!  I love that after 2 months here, I can actually give suggestions to Arizona natives about fun things to do and see!

So for a re-cap and advice on ways to take advantage of this fabulous city of Scottsdale, we have:

1) Stand Up Scottsdale! 

Stand Up Scottsdale is a comedy club on 5th Ave in Old Town Scottsdale.  Convinced that Chris and I were going to have a Saturday night full of laughter, I did a search, found a  venue, and off we went.  And let me tell you- IT. WAS. HILARIOUS.  Comedy Clubs can be hit or miss, but this place was great.  There is a bar attached on one side of the club while you wait to be admitted and then the venue itself is intimate and energetic.  Check it out!

2) We finally saw a show at the Gammage.  West Side Story was last night (thank you to Chris’s mom for the tickets!!!!) and the theater is just beautiful.  Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, it feels  like you’re sitting right on Broadway.  You must see a show here if you haven’t.  But a warning- get there EARLY because parking can be SUPER difficult to find.

And lastly….

3) We were fortunate enough to go watch the Diamondbacks play at the super cool, indoor Chase stadium last Sunday and not only were the beer and hot dogs great, the Dbacks won and are headed to playoffs!  We had awesome seats since the tickets were a gift, but if you sit higher up in the stands, the tickets are incredibly reasonable.  I am still in awe that I watched a baseball game indoors with A/C. 

That’s all for now… we’re hoping to take a little day trip up to Flagstaff for some fall foliage and relaxation this weekend so I’ll be back with more tips soon… and hopefully some great photos!

Lots of love on a TGIF kind of day…XO


Starry Saturdays and College Sparks


Well, apparently my blog is now a weekly blog.  That works, I guess! 🙂

This week was crazy… not in a bad way at all, just fast and busy and full of thought-provoking moments.  I think I came home every night this week and talked for two hours straight about my day and my thoughts on just about any and every topic in life.  Chris is a very, very patient listener.  I ended the week saying that I desperately need to do some fundraiser, service trip, or other charitable activity for my global community.  Obviously my heart is in Central and South America so we spent a lot of time brainstorming ways to help various people there.  I have been feeling the spark I felt when I was in college lately… that “you can sleep when you’re dead” way of thinking that leaves you bleary-eyed each morning and frantic with thoughts and ideas.  I’ve missed that feeling.  Along those lines, I have found a new non-profit coffee company online called Three Avocados and I am loving their mission to bring clean water to Uganda and promote the agriculture there by selling coffee from the country.  Very cool… check it out!

Now, for my Southwest Living re-cap… a few places of note!

Chris and I had drinks at the Bungalow on Thursday night.  The food there is great, the service is quick and friendly, and it was finally cool enough to sit outside.  Ahhh glorious glorious fall is here (though still 90 degrees).   If you’re looking for a fun, low-key bar in Old Town, this a great spot to hit.

This morning we found ourselves at Pet Market on Shea Blvd because I found an event posting on AZ Central for a viewing of the Scottsdale Strays (and Mini, Mighty Mutts!).  Don’t get excited… we are not getting a dog anytime soon (though if we weren’t together, one of them absolutely would’ve come home with me today… shh!).  However, it was a blast to play with them and hold them and love them and ohhh…. I soooooo want a puppy. Sigh.  I know they are a lot of work and expensive but they are oh so very cute and loveable.  Someday 🙂  I DO know that I love the idea of getting a rescue dog.  Kind of the same way I would love to adopt children…. I just hate the thought that any sweet, innocent creature is not able to live in a safe and loving home.  Ok ok, I’m done… next topic.

Our next adventure today took us to BevMo, a liquor and wine/beer accessory store in Scottsdale.  We had heard a commercial on the radio saying that with membership, you could come in and buy any bottle of wine and a second bottle of it for only $.05!  So we meandered through the store, did a few tastings and walked out with 4 bottles of wine, two bags of chip, and a chili chocolate bar for under $40!  Scorrrrrreeee…..

Finally we came back home so Chris could watch some football and I could dive into my new Elin Hildebrand book, The Castaways.  This author is my new favorite- she pulls you in the very second you open the book.  You MUST check her out if you love to read… especially awesome books that take place on Nantucket.

Spent about an hour after reading walking the Green Belt and oh my lord, I LOVE IT.  Anyone who lives in this area has to know how very lucky they are to have access to so many awesome bike and walking paths surrounded by green and lakes and ponds.  Definitely a great spot for some future running.

Ok, that’s all for now!  Off to chill in the pool a bit before bed.

Lots of Southwest love on a starry Saturday! xo

Sunny Saturday Shenanigans


First things first.  Sara Bareilles is going to be playing in LA December 9th and my incredible boyfriend just agreed to go with me. Score. The second tix are on sale, I am BUYING them. YES!  Best day ever!

Ok, back to Southwest living. It is FINALLY starting to cool down.  Highs are supposed to be 100 or lower this whole upcoming week.  We are almost upon beautiful weather!!!!!  Thank heavens. It’s about time.  I am tired of constantly sweating.

Last night, Chris and I went with a friend from work and her boyfriend to Palavela Home for their Arty Margarita Party.  Beautiful little interior design store and incredibly nice people working the gig.  If I had more money, I would buy some of their cool stuff.  For now, it’s IKEA or bust.

Main foyer of Palavela Home

 Today is the Eileen Fisher Fashion Show at Dillard’s (Fashion Square).  I’m attending a  luncheon and then going to the show to support Homeward Bound.  Very cool that they  are working with us on this!

And then, who knows?  It’s a beautiful weekend, I’m going to enjoy and relax and have  Chris teach me some photography with his fancy camera.  Andddd of course, a dip in the  pool will happen at some point. Glorious, glorious Saturday.

OOOO and if you haven’t already, check out my new site StyleWrite!  I’d appreciate the  support!

Lots of Love! xoxo


Find Your Happy Place


An interesting thing happens once it becomes apparent that the new place you’re living is no longer a vacation spot- you start to crave the closeness of friends, family, and familiarity again.  And when that starts to happen, and the novelty of new restaurants and fancy shopping malls starts to wane, you have to get creative 🙂  Find those things that are familiar and homey and fit them into your new routine!

Chris and I both do well when we’re working during the week- lots to distract us from the newness of where we are… but then the weekend hits and we look at each other and think, where can we go to make friends?  Have fun?  Maybe feel comfortable?  Interestingly, bookstores seem to do the trick.  I’ve always been an avid reader and I know Chris loves to catch up on sports, new photography tips, etc.  So when we both got stir crazy yesterday afternoon, we grabbed a beer and then went and grabbed a book.  By the time we left Barnes & Noble, we had a whole new outlook.  Sometimes you have to find a way to decompress and enjoy yourself without putting on the added pressure of constantly searching for friends and excitement.  Those things will come…

So let’s backtrack here… the beer happened at Papago Brewing… and it was good!  We both had the Intermountain Wheat which had the thick, somewhat misleading look of OJ but was delicious.  The “tasting room” itself seems a bit more like a dive bar but the waitress was friendly and everyone seemed to have a good time so no complaints here.

Then, after our trip to Barnes &Noble, we walked around the Tempe Marketplace for awhile and listened to some of the many live bands and musicians hanging out serenading the people walking by.  There was some serious talent happening in Tempe last night.

After awhile, we started to get hungry and stumbled upon Lucille’s BBQ.  Oh.My.Word.  It was incredible…. I would HIGHLY recommend this down home cookin’ to anyone craving a southern twist in the desert.  The sweet rolls and apple butter they start you off with are only a tease.  Once your meal comes out, you will experience true bliss!  Try the pulled pork sandwich.  Or for that matter, I’m sure anything on the menu is fabulous.

Ok, that’s all for now!  Check back soon for more updates on places to go and new things to try!

Lots of Southwest love on a Labor Day weekend 🙂 XO!