Category Archives: shopping

Shops you’ve gotta hit

Kierland Commons


If there’s one thing I love to do, it’s S-H-O-P! And Kierland Commons happens to be one of the places I enjoy the most. I love it’s selection of stores along with its openess and beautiful setting. It really sets the mood for a great day of shopping. They also have an amazing selection of restaurants, so there’s always a place to rest your feet and refuel between stores (never underestimate the need to refuel during a shopping excursion – energy is crucial).

My most recent visit to Kierland Commons was for Fashion’s Night Out. I needed a little retail therapy after a long week and this was the perfect solution. Kierland is fun any time of day, but evening is especially “magical” with all of the white lights, people strolling around and patios full of happy hour aficionados. Thanks to the celebratory nature of Fashion’s Night Out, there was music playing, drinks flowing, deals to be had and a slew of live models showing off the latest must-haves for Fall. The stores really got into the spirit of the evening (Note: although tempting, I steered clear of drinking and shopping – it’s hazardous to my wallet!).

Kierland truly has a little bit of everything. Some of my favorite stores include Anthropologie, The French Bee, Michael Kors and Charles David. Of course, they also have the good ol’ stand bys like Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, J. Crew, LOFT, Banana Republic and Tommy Bahama (which includes the Cafe). Basically, I can meet all of my shopping needs in one place.

As mentioned, the restaurant selection is stellar as well. Some of my personal favs are The Greene House, Zinc Bistro and Ocean Club (the pretzel bread is to die for.)

But don’t just take it from, be sure to check it out for yourself. To see all of their stores and restaurants, go to

Kierland Commons
Greenway Pkwy. and Scottsdale Rd.


Independents Week

It’s no secret that here at The Hot Sheet, we’re driven to showcase the best of the indie shops. Local businesses are what separates one city from another – one business from another. The charm, unique personality, service and – let’s just face it – they’re more fun places to be.

So as if you didn’t have enough reason to visit a local boutique, restaurant, coffee shop, bar (okay, you get the gist), then this is your week – Independents Week. From today (June 28) through July 4, you get 20% off your purchases at participating members of Local First Arizona, a local non-profit to support independently owned businesses. And because Local First is such a cool organization, pretty much all your favorite places are on the list. (Check out the full list of participating shops.)

But just in case – in all your excitement – you are perplexed about where to visit first, here are a few of our top picks (click their pic to check ’em out):


Urban Cookies

Urban Cookies

Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden

The Willows

The Willows

Bunky Boutique

Bunky Boutique

Heard Museum

Heard Museum

See, now your week was looking busier than you thought! To get your 20% off Golden Coupon, and to see a full list of participants, check out the Local First site. Happy outings!

La Grande Orange

La Grande Orange, or LGO for short, is a perfect little neighborhood retreat in central Phoenix. It’s really two places in one with La Grande Orange Pizzeria on one side and La Grande Orange Grocery on the other. The Pizzeria side offers a well-balanced menu of salads and pizzas with a few “off the grill” items tossed in for good measure. They are kind enough to label items that are vegetarian, vegan or gluten free which is uber helpful if you care about these things like I do (for me, it’s please hold the meat). The pizzas are nothing short of yummy, and I prefer mine topped with a fried egg. Hey, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it! 

My recent LGO dinner included the Classic Margherita (with egg, of course) followed by a stop on the Grocery side for a Tammie Coe cupcake. Tammie Coe desserts deserve their very own blog post – I’ll save that for another day. If you’re a bit of a shopaholic like me, then the Grocery can also help you out in that area. They have a fantastic array of items including soaps, candles, kitchen knick knacks, pet treats and more. All of their LGO-logoed stuff is adorable – very retro. And, oh yeah, they have groceries too, including a nice wine selection.

LGO Grocery is also known for it’s homemade English muffins that are griddled there every day. These things are so darn good that I’m smiling right now just thinking about them. If, like me, you try one and decide that you can’t live without them, then you’re in luck. LGO sells them by the dozen and half dozen so that you can enjoy them morning, noon and night.

Well, I think I’ve rambled on long enough about this fabulous place. Hopefully, you’ll get out and give it a try.

La Grande Orange Grocery and Pizzeria
4410 N. 40th Street, Phoenix

Peaceful Soul


Peaceful Soul

Peaceful Soul is a shop just on the edge of downtown Phoenix on 7th Street next to The Main Ingredient, that always piques the curiosity of drivers-by with the furniture sitting out front. While at first I wondered if it was a new yoga studio, maybe a beverage place, maybe a clothing store, I was excited to hear that they had one of the best collections of furniture in Phoenix.

Drop by and you’ll find long rooms filled with pieces from around the country, hand-picked by the owner. Every style, every era – you’ll find it here. They sell new pieces, consignment and resale, so to go in with an open mind is your best bet.

One part you must check out – the jewelry “vault.” It’s literally an old bank vault from when the building was constructed as such in the early 1900s. You’ll find some pretty great handbags and accessories in there, too.

If you’re a local looking for an eclectic resource for furniture, this is your spot.

Peaceful Soul
2501 N 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85006

Biltmore Fashion Park

Let’s just be honest – the best places to shop are also the best places to just be – where you can stroll around, grab a cup of coffee, and leisurely get your fill of retail therapy and a beautiful environment. Enter Biltmore Fashion Park to play the part wonderfully. A bunch of high-end to mid-line shops all with their doors open and the breeze blowing in, not to mention the immaculate lawns, gardens and fountains. Every little turn is a different garden area.

A couple years ago, they also renovated the exterior to harken back to the first days of the Biltmore shopping area, and now it’s a great blend of retro and modern. The Biltmore area is called such because of the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, which sits just behind the shopping center. The sprawling resort was built in 1929 by the Wrigley family (hence The Wrigley Mansion, also in the Biltmore area), and now “The Biltmore Area” refers to the resort, the shops, the surrounding restaurants and neighborhoods. “The Biltmore” can either mean the resort or the shopping center, depending on the context. Now you know the lingo.

Biltmore Fashion Park

The Center Lawn is the big focal point of the Biltmore, and it’s bigger than a camera can get. They have a bunch of events here year round (and about every day for picnics at lunch), but the most popular are the Movies in the Park, where they show generally older landmark films like Singin’ in the Rain or Breakfast at Tiffany’s. James Bond has been known to turn up on the screen as well.

Biltmore Fashion Park

As mentioned, the fountains and gardens are all over the place, mixing with the architectural lines. Lines are not found, however, at the stores. No matter how busy, there is always a certain calm feeling at the Biltmore that makes it great for strolling. And there are the signature stores like Saks and Macy’s and Pottery Barn, but there are also local boutiques like Cornelia Park, a home store that makes the best decorators swoon, and This Little Piggy Wears Cotton, which the locals know as the best kids’ shop in the area. There are also exclusive shops like Calypso St. Barth, Escada and even an Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa.

Biltmore Fashion Park

When you’re there, make sure you take time to replenish your shopping fuel at one of the restaurants. True Food Kitchen was opened by Sam Fox, a local restaurateur and Andrew Weil, the doctor known for his lessons in well-being (and if you wanted to try Green Tea Noodles, this is where to do it). Also stop by Christopher’s for an upscale treat (or swing by the lounge for a really good time) and Zinburger for a one-stop wine and burger run (because they go so great together).

Can’t you tell I love the Biltmore? Now happy shopping…and movie watching…and strolling…and eating…

Happy Hour at Tommy Bahama Cafe

We needed to do a little shopping at Kierland Commons (oh, darn) so we opted to stop by the Tommy Bahama Cafe for a little bite to eat and to soak up the beautiful day. From past experience, we knew that they offered some happy hour deals from 4 to 6pm, so we decided to go that route rather than a heavy meal. Their happy hour (or Island Time, as they call it) prices are great – $5 appetizers and wine – and they have live music which sets the perfect mood. Of course, they also offer some fantastic Island-y drinks. I just happened to be in the mood for a little wine this particular evening.

Live Music

Ahhh, this is the life

When our food arrived, I was so anxious to dive in that I forgot to snap pictures first. In the photos below, you’ll see that we had already indulged – I promise, there’s more food than you see here. I had the Coconut Shrimp (dee-licious) and Fish Tacos (also yummy), and my husband snacked on the Quesadilla and Sliders. He loved both, especially the cheeseburger slider.

Coconut Shrimp


So, the next time you’re in the mood for a little Island Time, head over to Tommy Bahama Cafe and get your happy hour on. Great prices, great food and great atmosphere. What’s not to love?

Tommy Bahama Cafe
Kierland Commons
15205 N. Kierland Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ


The cooler temps are here and so are all the great events!

The weekends are jam-packed with things to do, and here’s a recap of some of our favorites:

First Friday

Tonight is the Q3 quarterfinals for Train Tracks. Each week, one local band performs on the Metro Light Rail and their performances are taped and shown here. After voting, the top three bands perform a whole set each at the Phoenix Art Museum. Live voting that night determines the winner.

It’s a cash bar, event takes place from 6-10pm in the huge exhibit area which is totally transformed into a concert venue (it’s like magic).

See the Train Tracks videos to acquaint yourself, and check here for the event details.

After the event, head over to Roosevelt Row and get some Tammie Coe cupcakes, then head up to Grand Avenue for some of the most cultivated galleries around. And you can take it all by a free shuttle that conveniently departs from Phoenix Art Museum.

Train Tracks at Phx Art Museum

Scottsdale Fashion Week

The fashion scene in Phoenix and Scottsdale is undeniable, and the Fashion Week event has grown and morphed over the years to become the hot-spot it is this year. This is going to be the best year ever because the local talent is mixing with the big boys, so-to-speak. On both Friday and Saturday nights, there will be two runways, one at Southbridge at the Waterfront, and one just across the bridge at the main tent. Southbridge will host the local designers, staggered by the shows from the main design shops at the main tent.

Who to go for? You want to make sure you see iuk iuk (who won designer of the year), Angela Johnson, Kevan Hall, Zhao Bandi (who presents a whole panda show in fashion as a form of contemporary art), VMarie, Amelia Walsh. I’d also attend the Carolina Herrara and Barney’s New York in the big shows, too.

Check out the entire schedule here, and all the ticket, parking details here.


One of the most locally-loved boutiques in the Phoenix area is Domestic Bliss, which pretty much lives up to the name. While the store is fantastic any day of the year, this Friday night and Saturday all day will be Blissfest.

Friday, is literally “The Grand Fandango,” with a Western theme and dancing, good eats, fashion shows, silent auction, live music – you get the gist. Anything Domestic Bliss touches turns – well – to bliss, to it’s bound to be a good time. You get in free if you are dressed up in Western wear (and there’s a contest, so make it count).

Saturday is the market in which over 50 shops and artisans will be set up to accommodate your purchasing dreams. Expect jewelry, paintings, accessories, and of course, great finds for the home. There will also be live music, craft booths, stagecoach rides, face painting – the whole kit and caboodle. All-in-all, it will keep families (read: kids and husbands) entertained.

Stephanie Nielsen will also be attending the events, accompanied by her husband Christian. Both lived in Mesa with their darling children when they barely survived a fiery plane crash last August. They live in Utah now, but they’re coming back to see the great event put on by Domestic Bliss, since Stephanie used to be a part of their great team.

Barneys New York Opens in Scottsdale

So, I got to start my day in the best way possible – at the mall. And not just any mall, at Scottsdale Fashion Square where Barneys New York is offically open for business. I even caught a glimpse of Simon Doonan, the creative genius behind the store’s quirky and fabulous displays. This Barneys is home to a Fred’s restaurant, one of only three. Yay for us! Can’t wait to give it a try.

Barney's Opening 012Barney's Opening 015

Barney's Opening 014Barney's Opening 018

Barney's Opening 016

 Barneys is in good company in the new East Wing of the mall. It’s joined by other brands such as Michael Stars, Arthur, True Religion, Pandora and Christian Audigier. This concentration of retail therapy is sure to make any shopaholic weak in the knees. But never fear, you can keep the wallet in check with the more reasonble options of Forever 21, Love Culture and the soon-to-be-here H&M. If you want more middle-of-the-road options, J. Crew and Banana Republic are also taking up residence in the East Wing. Banana is debuting its new concept store – check it out and see what you think. It’s pretty cool but I’m still undecided on the practicality of it. Trust me, I’ll give myself plenty of opportunites to get used to it!

Along with more premier shopping, Fashion Square is also home to two new restaurants, Modern Steak (a new concept by Sam Fox) and Marcella’s Italian Kitchen. Both look very promising and are now on my list of “restaurants to try.”

Barney's Opening 009Barney's Opening 010









I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the collection of artistic mannequins that are on display. The Mannequin is our Muse Design Project is an art exhibition featuring retailers, designers and community members who have designed a mannequin using their interpretation of art and fashion. One hundred full-size mannequins will be on display through October 18. A panel of local celebrity judges will pick the top five most fabulous to be displayed at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in late October. 

Barney's Opening 004Barney's Opening 011





Corner of Camelback and Scottsdale Roads


Grand Avenue Festival

Grand Avenue runs diagonally through Phoenix. “Off the grid,” so to speak. So it’s only appropriate that they have some of the hippest shops, restaurants, galleries around. It’s an eclectic group, and the Festival this weekend is the place to be.

Grand Avenue is popular for its First Friday crowd in particular, but their all-day Festival THIS Saturday, Sept. 26th, will have live music from noon to midnight, three fashion shows (including “Boho haute hippie”), and historic/adaptive re-use tours (basically, old historic buildings that are once again shiny).

Over 15 galleries and studios will be open for perusing, including painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, and more, more, more. Restaurants will be open and bustling (don’t miss The Paisley Violin – it’s a local staple), and shops have crafty, urban, creative gear (my personal fave is Butter Toast).

To find out where to go, see the map. Parking should be easy on any of the side streets, and weather will be beautiful for walking.

Tilt Gallery

Tilt Gallery

For all the details, check out the Grand Avenue Festival page. See you there!

Do Me A Favor

I’ll tell you one thing, this store does me a favor just by being there.

Do Me A Favor is the quintessential gift store. I mean to tell you – it is stocked with the world’s perfect gifts for every occasion. Going to a wedding? The silver and crystal pieces, and amazing dishware, is yours for the taking (matter of fact, they even have registries). Mother’s Day?  Check out the decadent robes, pajamas, fragrances, and luxurious bath products. Father’s Day? Easy. How about some wine glasses, or barbecue serving ware?  Christmas and Hanukkah? Don’t even get me started.

Inside Do Me a Favor

It’s the place to go when you don’t know what to get, but you know it has to be unique and special (shouldn’t all gifts be that way?). They have great seasonal stuff too (read: perfect hostess gifts). For summer this year, East Coast lobsters, crabs and starfish are center-stage, and the fall stuff is straight out of New England red-brown-golden forests.

Here’s the best part: the gift wrapping. Pictures can’t even do a justice. They have a staff that will make your gift look like a million bucks, when it certainly won’t cost that much at Do Me a Favor. There is something at every price point, believe me.

Gift Wrapping at Do Me a Favor Beautiful Gifts at Do Me a Favor

It’s also centrally located on Camelback Road and 10th Street, so go stock up on presents…and remember the best gifts of all are to yourself!

See more photos here.

Do Me a Favor

835 E Camelback Rd # 102
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 200-0190