Category Archives: shopping

Shops you’ve gotta hit

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.

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 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.”

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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. 

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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

Paris Envy

Shopping in Phoenix is so great because there are so many niches that our boutiques fill. The home and garden category is robust, but truly each story is very different. Take Paris Envy, for example, which is situated right on the 7th Avenue Melrose District. At first glance, it carries relics similarly found at some other boutiques, but noticeably higher quality – without the higher prices.

Paris Envy front room

The shop sits in a former home with amazing wood floors, two stories, and fantastic location in between downtown and central Phoenix. Immediately upon entering, there are two things that hit you: amazingly European and amazingly modern. Ther first room feels like something in Anthropologie, with French soaps, their own line of scented candles, clothing, jewelry, kids toys and gifts (also known as the perfect room for gift buying). An adjoining room and the upstairs are filled with fantastic furniture pieces, from bookshelves, Louis XVI chairs, zinc-topped tables, coffee tables out of reclaimed wood, etc.

Paris Envy furniture

The difference with Paris Envy is that one of the partners is an amazing carpenter, so he searches high and low for great wood, table legs, chair frames, and more to take to his shop and make into something magical. An electrical engineer by day, he handcrafts the pieces and works at the store. There’s truly something to be said for shaking the hand of the person who made something from nothing.

The home accessories are unique to Paris Envy versus other stores in Phoenix as well; I comb the shops and haven’t found anything like the mirrors, dishes, statues and even vintage bird cages Paris Envy carries. Go for a gift, go for yourself.

See more photos here.

Paris Envy

4624 N 7th AvePhoenixAZ

(602) 266-0966

Paris Envy set up


So you’re driving down 7th Street, and among the office buildings, a sign for Vignettes peeks out the way a party invitation does in the mail.

The steps to it’s front door immediately set the “home-y” tone, and inside does not disappoint. And when you look around on the displays (as you decide which…ahemm…vignette you want to go into first) you see all the things that are in homes that are decorated wonderfully and precisely but also create a cozy atmosphere.

Garden stuff at Vignettes Lots of gifts at Vignettes

Since I’ve become a loyal fan of Vignettes, I’ve told people all about it, and they undoubtedly say, “Oh, Vignettes! I’ve been going there for years! I always get my [insert occassion] gifts there!” And it is the perfect place for gifts. Hostess gifts, birthday gifts, and CHRISTMAS is nothing short of amazing. There is also an entire baby/kids area that really special, unique items that will get the “oohs” and “aahs” at any shower.

kids' stuff at Vignettes

So stop by, say hi to the gals, and pick up your next greatest-find-ever at Vignettes.


5220 N 7th St
PhoenixAZ 85014-2801

(602) 264-4845

Melrose Vintage

Melrose Vintage is a shabby chic haven.

Inside Melrose Vintage

It’s tucked into the glorious 7th Avenue shopping district (the Melrose district, coincidentally), and while it offers vintage items (again-  in the name),  there are great pieces that really would work in any home. They have bedding, furniture, fabric, lighting, even a scrapbooking area. For gals, there are some amazing accessories from jewelry to hair thing-eys as well (men: what a great place to find a gift for your girl!).

I really love the way it’s set up, too, with a living room, a master bedroom, a kids room, but they’re not like an interior decorator showroom – it’s stocked with goods. It’s a perfect blend where you can rely on Melrose Vintage to have certain things all the time, but enough in rotation that it’s always new.

Melrose Vintage bedroom

Certain times of year you’ll also find really great garden items as well. It’s the kind of lplace where there’s somthing else amazing around every corner. You have to do a few laps to take it all in.

Melrose Vintage

4238 N 7th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85013-3069
(602) 636-0300

outside of Melrose Vintage



So many boutiques offer great shopping here in the Phoenix area, especially for clothing and home goods. Everything from vintage to edgy-urban is represented very well here in P-town. But my favorite places are the little shops where you don’t go in looking for anything, and you find more than your heart’s content.

frances vintage (non-caps on purpose) is this great place that is my go-to for greeting cards, t-shirts (check out my fave one below, for obvious reasons), and perfect gifts for everything. Half the store is clothes, jewelry, accessories, and the other half is home and gift stuff, including an entire baby section, kitchen/home, books, etc. Another thing you should know – they sell those TOMS shoes (the ones from the AT&T commercial).

inside frances

"Trees" of jewelry at frances

"Trees" of jewelry at frances

home items at frances

My favorite t-shirt

My favorite t-shirt

It’s located on Central & Camelback, next to Stinkweeds and Red Hot Robot, and is open Mon – Sat, 10am- 6pm (meaning there’s time to go after work for us downtown-ers), and open Sunday 12 – 5pm.

See their great website at and stop in! BTW -it’s right on the light rail.

10 w Camelback Road

Phoenix, AZ 85015