A few recent illustrations of some of my favorite 2022 high school graduates. So proud of these young women!
Recently, I went to a perfume-making class at Antsy Nancy and literally, I now have my own signature scent! The instructor, Miriam Vareldzis, led us through a fascinating history of scent and the skills necessary to become a master perfumer, which is honestly years and years of commitment. But with her help in one two-hour class, I was able to combine the top, middle and bottom notes of different scents to create an individual perfume I LOVE! And the best part? Not one other person in the world has it. If you haven’t checked out the classes at Antsy Nancy in Tucson, you are seriously missing out! Antsy Nancy gives you all the supplies you need to create a specific project you will take home, kids and adults alike! And the added benefit for adults is wine if you would like it!
So it was really awesome to hear at my last hair appointment that I have horrible split ends! There was actual concern in her voice too, so, yay, that was not amazing.
But, on the bright side, I ordered both of Jennifer Aniston’s new hair products from her line, LolaVie. She just launched two – Perfecting Leave-In and Glossing Detangler. I have mostly been using the latter and am truly loving it! I’m no scientist, but it does feel like my hair is doing better with it, it smells luxurious and honestly, I look forward to washing my hair now just so I get to use her products afterward. I have been to the drugstores here countless times and it’s pretty hard to find products that compare to these two. And this is just an honest first-person review. Not getting paid to recommend them–lol, like a Tucson blog would be a difference maker! But hey, if you want to shake your own routine up, give it a shot!
If you have not been to La Plaza Shoppes lately, you need to check out the expanded new location of Embellish! Now, next to Desert Artisans Gallery and two doors over from Posh Boutique (which if you love designer resale, you should be checking out daily), is the new Embellish store and it’s the best place to buy luxe presents and hostess gifts right now! I’ve been to a few Santa gift exchanges of late with many a beautiful Embellish gift among the mix and high on the steal list.
Owner Dawn Scully is brilliant in choosing all of her offerings, including some of the best candles, jewelry and holiday decor in all of T-town. Also, with her expanded digs, there are numerous additions like designer-inspired bath sets and jewelry plates, and an entire room of culinary and home goods. Plus, you’ll always get an amazing smile and a welcome every time you come in. Last minute holiday gifts needed? You need to visit Embellish.
If you can navigate the million-plus people going to Costco each day this month, these shearling boots are a huge find! As much as I Iove Uggs, the price is a bit high for the amount of time they are worn here–mainly the three days of winter that Tucson has. I mean, I will look for them on discount at Nordstrom Rack always, but these little booties are $29.99 and would make a great gift for a bestie or relative. They are available in camel and black but they are running out though, so go survive the crowds if you like them!
For any of you who haven’t heard of Hem & Her, you NEED TO! I only learned about this incredible Tucson tailor this past Spring, when the winning purchase of a beautiful Cotillion dress on Poshmark ended up being a bit of a fiasco to get the right length. Procrastinator that I am, I waited until the last minute and then panicked that I had to get this dress fixed so my teen didn’t trip through the event.
So, I called Hem & Her, 4004 N Stone Ave, (520-887-4739) after the advice of another mom who raved about the business. The man who answered, the tailor’s husband Marvin, said, “Not to worry!” and told me how his incredible wife, expert seamstress Joyce Feickert, stayed up all night once fixing a wedding dress that the bride’s pit bull had destroyed before the big event. I was sold. When we walked in, she quickly ushered us back to her studio and was able to meticulously trim through every layer of tulle, and then she offered to use a beautiful thread that would finish it off.
IT WAS AMAZING. Literally, she is a genius. Now, the price was high, but worth it. (also, when you wait to the last minute, nothing ever good happens cost-wise! You’d think I would know that) For any of you beautiful moms getting your girls ready for Cotillion and Assisteens this school year, I highly recommend Hem & Her!
It’s in a house. You’re not wrong when you see it. Just look for the sign!
Retailers have remembered our demand for comfy and cute during the pandemic by flooding the stores with tons of loungy, matching short sets this summer that are perfect for post-pool, post-beach relaxation. The T-town choices are everywhere, from Target to TJ Maxx. Online options, on Steinmart.com (yep, it’s still alive online) and boutiques such as Red Dress Boutique are even more stylish. Definitely a trend to stock up on!
There’s a certain bravery to wearing a large cuff when the current bracelet trend is clearly more delicate and stacked. But, it was Coco Chanel, by the way, who confidently asked the Italian jeweler, Duke Fulco di Verdura, to redesign her jewelry collection and he presented her with what would become the most iconic cuff of all time. Chanel would wear her Verdura Cuff constantly and it’s a piece still coveted today.
In that spirit of fearlessness and breaking the rules, ChicAcrylicCuffs on Etsy is offering its own take on the bold cuff, with jeweled emblems on smooth, crystal-clear acrylic. From the Three Rams Cuff, seen above, to versions with jeweled crowns, horses, and flowers, they range in price from $35 to $55. The quality is stunning and each piece arrives in a cute black and white box with cleaning instructions.
Your inner rebel would be proud.
Some pinkalicious pieces are now front and center at Francesca’s at La Encantada!
Blush hued-dresses, blouses and tops are featured throughout the store, with some especially cute versions for Valentine’s Day! The Foothills store also has constant sales, alternating between percentage-off days and BOGO days during this pandemic winter. If pink is not your thing, there’s also a lot of camo clothing right now.
Walking into Piece by Piece Wear in St. Philip’s Plaza is nothing short of walking into your stylish best friend’s amazing closet.
And, according to owner Julie Penny, that’s entirely by design.
“It should be like shopping with your best friend,” said Penny, the engaging force—you meet her and you love her—of this Tucson boutique since the 90s. “I want it to be a great experience!”
And because Penny has customers ordering items from Piece by Piece from as far as New York and Louisiana, it’s clear that experience has cemented an incredibly loyal fan base. Her Facebook and Instagram feeds are not only filled with her luxe new arrivals, but also genuinely ecstatic reviews from first-time and longtime shoppers alike.
“My goal is whenever you get something from me, it becomes your go-to piece,” said Penny. “I want it to be like, ‘What did I wear before this?’” Ultra-soft lines such as Sundry, Tart Intimates and sumptuous tees by JET John Eshaya are just the start. “I want it to feel soft. I touch everything. It has to be soft to start, and then I look at it.”
“It all starts with what I want to wear and what my friends want to wear,” she said. In fact, every single piece of clothing at Piece by Piece is handpicked by Penny.
A science major at DePaul University, she credits a stint at a designer consignment store for her fashionable fate. “I just fell in love with fashion.” She and her husband moved to Arizona after she joked that frost began forming inside their apartment windows in Illinois. Though they initially thought Phoenix, Tucson’s inclusive community and charm won them over. “Everyone here says hello and smiles at you.”
Penny has since been a devoted promoter of all things local. She is the exclusive carrier of Tucson designer Annie Hammer’s jewelry line and mosaic stones by Rox, another talented local artist.
When the pandemic hit and closed so many Tucson businesses, she made sure to continue selling her items online and personally delivered them to her loyal customers. “It’s what kept me alive,” she said. Even now, when she can’t travel to her usual markets because of COVID-19, she treasures her designers and representatives who come to her, even customizing their lines for what her shoppers want.
“I love shopping at Julie’s store,” said Mindy Thomas, a frequent Piece by Piece shopper. “It’s my favorite place in Tucson to get cute, on-trend pieces. I always leave with a smile on my face, spending my money locally and looking fashionable.”
Oh, and right now, there’s a rare 50% off sale going on–the perfect time to discover your new favorite store!