Salt of the Desert

Recently, a few very sweet friends told me they missed my blog posts (I will say alcohol was involved…), but I thought well, what the heck—I’ll just try again!

And I’m excited to brag about this fun Tucson company, Agave Pantry, which curates the best seasoning salts that make awesome gifts for your fave chef friends. Agave Pantry make a Chef’s Set ( with rosemary salt, piquant salt and cardamom salt) and also a Baker’s Set (cardamom rose salt, lavender salt and Sonoran desert salt). The company also makes delicious cookies, caramels and cakes, which I haven’t tried yet, but the pictures look amazing.

I’ve sent the salt sets to a few friends and the very best part is that they come with the cutest little clay spoon to get the spices out of the jar. Brilliant! Also, the packaging is very stylish and its nice to support a local T-town company!

Jennifer Aniston’s LolaVie

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!

Antsy Nancy – Your New Favorite Place

My friend Heidi Yribar has officially opened her new venture, Antsy Nancy, at River Center today! The former mining exec, beauty queen and author–literally she is a bad ass– is hosting an Open House from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. today, so stop by if you are in the River and Craycroft neighborhood. Antsy Nancy, antsy-nancy.com, will be offering how-to skills classes and parties with all of the materials and know-how so you walk out of each class with a finished product–no stress! From charcuterie boards to hair bows to holiday decorating, this will seriously be a treasure for Tucson. Stop by if you can or check out her website!

Game, Set, Match

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!

A Day at Home

When Tucson finally gets a cool store – one that has been in Phoenix for years – you have to embrace it.

That’s exactly the case with at home, the new home decor warehouse that took over the Target behemoth on Broadway. (And thank God? Like we need another vacated store that sits empty in this city!)

It’s definitely worth a visit, or many. Tons of wall posters–and when I say tons, I mean millions. The choices are never-ending! Numerous rows of artificial plants and also some small treasures like these monogram jewelry holders. Furniture, indoor and outdoor, storage, mirrors, and some decorative pieces you may not be able to find at HomeGoods or T.J. Maxx.

If you need a housewarming gift, your gift basket starts here.

 

 

Post This Card

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I think these are the most adorable Tucson-themed post cards! Super retro and could be used in themed gift baskets or as funky holiday cards or even just to actually send as a postcard. Made by RetroTrek, www.retrotrek.com, you can find the 60-cent cards at The West gift shop at Craycroft and River. The West is a fun little place. Besides gifts, it also doubles as a knit shop, so the volunteer ladies who work there are definitely a kick. I think every time I buy something there, one of them always says, “Oh…..how nice dear!”

Rock a Velvet Blazer

I’m totally into the velvet blazer this holiday season and not just because Town & Country editor Stellene Volandes is wearing a stunning blue version in this month’s magazine. This is the coolest thing to wear, in my opinion, if you choose to forgo the cocktail dress.  Here are some stylish ways to wear it:

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Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

 

Tasty Monsoon

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I’ve been droolingly (a word?) following the Instagram account of Tucson’s Monsoon Chocolate and finally had to visit the place this week. Monsoon Chocolate encompasses both a chocolate factory and a petite cafe, located at 234 E. 22nd St., which opened earlier this year. The place is at the corner of 4th Avenue and 22nd Street–a short drive south from Armory Park. While its website is under construction, you can buy Monsoon’s chocolate bars, wrapped in stunning artful wrappers, and bon bons at the cafe, and also find its goodies around town at places like The Loft Cinema, for one. A specific shout-out to the Mesquite White Chocolate bar, which features ground mesquite pods from the San Xavier Cooperative Farm. It is very unique in taste and color, it is vintage Tucson and a great desert-themed gift for the upcoming holidays.

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Saguaro is a Style Star

 

 

The Saguaro cactus has exploded onto the home decor scene, especially at Hobby Lobby. Wall prints, stationery, laundry bags and more–all imprinted with happy little cactus depictions—seem perfect for a teen room remodel! They are also a nice little diversion from the entire region of Christmas accessories that are quietly plotting their takeover of the store.

Be Well: Amanda Saffer’s New Path

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In a search to find the cause of her daughter’s eczema, Amanda Saffer found a new pursuit of her own: Wellness.

“We were trying to understand the underlying condition that was causing her so much discomfort,” recalls the Tucson mom of two. “Many doctors told us it was genetic and to rub a little cortisone cream on it, never addressing the root problem.”

Saffer conducted her own research, finding clinical studies that link certain foods with eczema flare-ups. She also consulted a naturopathic doctor, who ran several tests and found her daughter did have food sensitivities. An elimination diet helped “pinpoint the culprits” and her eczema began to diminish. Saffer herself noticed brain fog, exhaustion and a touch of the blues after age 40. A naturopath found that she was low in several vitamins and minerals and wasn’t eating properly. “A few tweaks and about 30 days, I was back to feeling like myself…,” she says.

Her new namesake company, Amanda Saffer Wellness, is what has emerged from her quest for answers. “It was the knowledge I had learned and my unquenchable search for more that propelled me into enrolling in the largest nutrition school in the world, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and it’s been a worthwhile journey ever since.”

As a health coach, Saffer now offers options from a pantry reboot to healthy cooking demonstrations to more in-depth wellness sessions. She recently created a healthy eating guide for one of her college-bound clients. Her new website, AmandaSafferWellness.com, also offers healthy recipes and a blog where she tackles topics such as sugar intake and self-care.

“Nutrition is my hot-button,” Saffer says. “So many diseases are linked to a poor diet, and it’s amazing how making just a few tweaks to your diet can help you feel so much better.”

Saffer especially has some take-home ideas for multi-tasking moms, whom are often the last to take care of themselves:

  1. Put yourself at the top of your to-do list every single day, and the rest will fall into place. That could mean making a list and prioritizing your day.
  2. Take 10 to 20 minutes to get outside for a walk or take in the sunshine.
  3. Take a relaxing Epsom Salt bath.
  4. Watch your sugar intake, eat healthy fats for brain health and reduce processed food from your diet.
  5. Meditate!

“We all have our struggles, no one is perfect, and…so many of us feel the exact same way,” Saffer says. “I have met with so many clients…who share the same exact ailments. And every time, it seems to boil down to the fact that we are not taking proper care of ourselves, not eating or sleeping well and are flipping exhausted. I know how good it feels to feel well again, what it takes, and I’m excited to share that knowledge with others.”