Merry Christmas from the Joneses
It’s holiday card season and how lucky am I that this lovely couple asked me to take photos for their Christmas cards! We spent some time in downtown historic Gilbert enjoying the gorgeous weather. I brought a few Christmas-y props and just let them play and have a good time with each other. Thanks Adrienne and Mike for being good sports and making this shoot so easy!
A few weeks ago, my friend Barbara and I met for lunch and a movie. We both watch the PBS show Check Please, Arizona and Gallo Blanco was one of the featured restaurants. Since it is located near the theater where we planned to go to the movies, it was a no-brainer to check it out for lunch.
Located just inside the Clarendon Hotel, Gallo Blanco’s bright decor is very eclectic. Lots of funky colorful art and cool mini art installations decorate the walls. They have a bar and a patio seating and the interior of the restaurant is airy and light with lots of windows.
Barbara ordered one of their spicy Bloody Mary’s and I was impressed with the garnishes!
We ordered chips and the loveliest guacamole to start. There were bits of orange and lime in the citrusy dip that made it refreshing and light.
We also wanted to try the Elote Callejero- grilled corn w/ Cotija cheese and smoked Paprika. It did not disappoint.
We opted for an assortment of tacos and some herbed jasmine rice as our main course. I really wish I had more than just my iPhone to capture the meal… the colors were just gorgeous!
If you’re in the area, give Gallo Blanco a try. Your tastebuds will thank you!
401 West Clarendon Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85013
5th and Wine
My guy took me to a great restaurant for my birthday dinner: 5th and wine. Located in Old Town Scottsdale, it’s the perfect place for a casual dinner that feels and tastes luxurious without breaking the bank. We started with the roasted olives and two types of bruschetta- classic tomato, basil, mozzarella and brie, apple, fig. They were both unbelievable. I might have to start making brie-apple-fig sandwiches for lunch.
For my main course, I ordered the hangar steak. It comes with fries, but I asked to substitute the fingerling potatoes. I was not disappointed. They were thinly sliced into “chips” and braised with fresh sage and thyme. The hangar steak was juicy and cooked perfectly. I had a glass of bubbly Prosecco with it.
For dessert, we decided to splurge on the chocolate mousse. It was light, chocolatey and did not have any bits of chocolate chips or nuts in it, which, in my opinion, ruins the smoothness of the mousse. I might’ve spoon-wrestled my guy for the last bite.
We are already planning a reason to go back to 5th and Wine. We’ve heard they have a great happy hour and there is often live music out on the patio. Now that it’s starting to cool off that might be how we’ll spend some fall Saturday evenings.
5th and Wine
7501 East 5th Ave
MINI Rally to Coolidge, AZ
A few weeks ago, my guy and I joined the local AZ MINI club on a rally to the Coolidge Airport for a “fly-in.” The local Lion’s club cooked breakfast and we walked around and checked out the planes. It was a great morning motoring with other MINI owners and a fascinating up-close look at the aviation hobby that seems to be so popular here in Phoenix.
Tempe Worldwide Instameet | March 11, 2012
I’m helping organize the Tempe Worldwide Photowalk Instameet on Sunday, March 11th. If you’re available, we’d love to have you join us! Here are the details:
Let’s meet at the Tempe Performing Arts Center. There’s plenty of free parking there. We can check out the fountain behind the Arts Center and then walk down by Tempe Town Lake, under the railroad bridge and onto Mill Avenue. We could even grab a bite to eat and share our instagram pictures over a cold beverage.
If you’re interested, click this link to RSVP. I’d love to meet you and take an Instagram photowalk on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. Hope to see you there!
Red velvet and lemon cupcakes & mint chocolate chip and raspberry rose macarons purchased at Scratch Pastries in Scottsdale.
via Instagram http://instagr.am/p/HYLQEsSqsp/
Photoshoot: Maternity Session with Tiffany
I was so excited when my friend Stephanie told me that her sister was pregnant. I thought it would be fun to do a photoshoot with her before she went into labor. We cut it really close because the first date we picked was one of five rainy days we get here in Phoenix. Luckily she didn’t go into labor before our rescheduled date, which was a perfect sunny day. We spent some time at the lake near her apartment and then did some indoor shots. Tiffany was so much fun to shoot. She was a good sport trying out different poses and indulging my whim of using props and ideas I’d been storing up for a maternity session. Tiffany had her baby girl on February 15th and I’m so looking forward to doing a newborn session with her in the next few weeks.
Today seems to be chock full of informative and funny videos! Here are a few I’ve found in my internet travels:
- Peter Hurley discusses the importance of accentuating the jawline when taking portraits of people
via Scott Kelby
- London telephone boxes become artwork
via BBC News
- 2 Girls, 2 Shirts on Portlandia
- This week is the Downton Abbey Christmas Special. Here’s a sneak peek at the episode.
And as a bonus, here are links to two lists worth bookmarking:
- 100 things to do in Phoenix
via LA Times
- 100 Greatest Books for Kids
Mesa giftshop Domestic Bliss closing
Sad news! One of the sweetest little gift shops on Main Street in Mesa is closing its doors! They’re having a clearance sale this weekend. See below for all the details right from their blog. I for one will be sad to see Domestic Bliss close its doors. I’ve always found the best gifts and sweet trinkets for the home there. But I am hopeful that their new venture will include the great finds for home and lifestyle that I’ve come to love.
Our gift store, Domestic Bliss will be closing it’s doors this weekend.
Please join us for the DOMESTIC BLISS (front store facing Main Street ONLY)
We will be having a TWO DAY CLEARANCE SALE FRIDAY, FEB 17th & SATURDAY, FEB 18th from 8am-5pm
FOUND will continue with our MONTHLY SALES, EVENTS & design business.
*We are available for appointments Tuesday- Friday. Our monthly events will continue to take place one Friday and Saturday each month.
WHY ARE WE CLOSING DOMESTIC BLISS?
It is a tough decision that needed to be made. We kept Domestic Bliss open for our loyal followers for as long as we could. Running the stores takes a lot of time, resources and energy and it just needs to be placed elsewhere right now. We are so happy that our AMAZING Katie and all of our sweet friends and family who help with our shops will still be working along side us at FOUND and in our new endeavor.
We know that many of you have been with us since the beginning of Domestic Bliss in 1999. We are so grateful for your business and continued support.
We are thrilled that our monthly events at FOUND have been so successful & that our design business continues to thrive and keep us very busy. We are blessed to have a great new opportunityahead of us that is scheduled to launch this Spring- stay tuned…
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. -Winston Churchill.
I’d love to know if you stopped by the sale and what you picked up. I’m hoping to make it Saturday morning and will share any treasures I find.
Tea 101 @ Urban Tea Loft
Today I am taking a Tea 101 class at the Urban Tea Loft in beautiful downtown historic Chandler. I actually won the class via Twitter and was super excited to get the message that I was in!
TEA 101-Understanding the Basics
Expert instruction from Certified Tea Expert, Glynis Legrand on tea basics and the health benefits of tea. Over an hour of proper tea preparation and tasting taking into consideration proper steeping times and temperatures.
I'm really excited to learn the proper tea preparation and also to sample the many lovely teas that UTL offers. It is starting to get, uh, chilly here in AZ and I've been drinking more tea. (Yes, I am now "one of them" where I think 70 degrees is chilly!) I'll post some pictures that I take during the class and let you know what I've learned.
If you live in the Phoneix area and haven't yet been to the Urban Tea Loft, you are missing a great spot. It's one of the first places I take any out of town guests and the food and tea-tinis are always a hit. Try to stop by on a Saturday when they are serving up amazing Soul Food specials. You won't be disappointed!
Urban Tea Loft
11 West Boston Street, Suite #2
Historic Downtown Chandler,