Phoenix City Guide featured on Design Sponge (click for full article)

For photographer Heather Kinkel, there’s no place like home — which, for her, is sunny Phoenix, AZ. “I can’t imagine living anywhere else,” she says. Born and raised in the Phoenix desert, she’s still happily living in the same suburban neighborhood of Arcadia that she grew up in (which is small and culturally-rich). When Heather’s not rehabilitating her 1960s ranch-style home with her husband or spending time with her kids, she can be found gardening, cooking, or at a relaxing beach getaway — a must during the 2-3 months of scorching heat that even she finds nearly unbearable. “But the other 9-10 months of perfection totally redeem that little nuisance!” she adds, “And the desert is a really gorgeous place, as long as you stay away from the jumping cactus.”

To introduce you to the best of what Phoenix has to offer, Heather has narrowed the playing field to central Phoenix (namely the neighborhood of Arcadia) with a splash of Paradise Valley and Scottsdale thrown in the mix. “And since we’re all about the local love around here,” she explains, “most of the places mentioned here are locally owned and operated.” Enjoy! —by Sabrina Smelko

Photography by Heather Kinkel

PLACES TO SHOP

urbAna

The cutest little boutique in Arcadia, carefully curated by owners Brian & Ana Wells, this store has literally perfected what your everyday girl (or guy!) needs to entertain. The selections are modern, cool and I want to buy everything in the store while I’m there. Throwing a birthday party? Swing by and grab a gift, and then the perfect tassels and “happy birthday” sign. Voila! Done.

Urbana3

A Party that Gives Major Alfresco Dining Goals featured on Style Me Pretty
MAR 9 by Erin Lepperd
The second March 20 rolls around, I’m determined to move my party train outside. Spring is all about alfrescoing and this Phoenix Tablemakers party from Lauren Kelp has us dreaming of wine sipped open air style. She teamed up with Constance Higley + Ashley Cooper for a creative dinner series celebrating the best of the best in Phoenix. Start planning your next backyard get together with these pretty details.

tablemakers press page

Tablemakers embodies the belief that entertaining is supposed to be a celebration – a beautiful, wabi-sabi celebration of friendship and community. It is not about making things flawless or Pinterest-perfect, it is about inviting others into your sacred space – your home – and building community. My goal, throughout this whole series, is to inspire you to open your home and grow your community. To organize a happy hour, a lunch, or a dinner party for 12, whatever it is, it doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be honest & true.

My passion for entertaining is centered around creating a space where everyone feels comfortable to relax, let their hair down, and hang out until the sun comes up. Our hope with these traveling dinner parties is to celebrate the ‘maker’ in all of us & create a community that encourages collaboration & camaraderie rather than competition.

With the backdrop of Tremaine Ranch, we set up long harvest tables (hand made by the owner!) and set an elegant farm inspired place setting (thanks to urbAna) with florals from Posies Floral along the center as a relaxed, unstructured runner. Between the delicious feast from Laurel Morley & the perfectly paired wine from Kendall-Jackson the night was unstoppable. As a fun surprise to our guests, we invited a local favorite dessert truck, Waffle Love, to stop by and treat everyone to the most unbelievable waffles (seriously, they are out of control).

For some of the recipes behind this soiree check out…
Creamy Pasta with Sage Meatballs | Maple Sea Salt Roasted Almonds

Photography: Constance Higley | Florals: Posies Floral | Catering : Laurel Morley | Venue: Tremaine Ranch | Candles: Paddywax | Co-Host: Constance Higley | Graphic Design & Host: Ashley Cooper | Hostess & Dinner Founder: Lauren Kelp | Soap: Olivina | Table Decor: urbAna | Waffles: Waffle Love | Wine : Kendall Jackson

Christmas Morning featured on Smitten Magazine

Stylist, la Ricki, has some great ideas and a sweet recipe for long lasting Christmas traditions:

The kids are a little bit older, sneaking before their parents awake. Peeking into their stockings and shaking the wrapped presents curious of what’s inside. The ornaments and wrapping paper are a sweet nod to the family’s past of when they were just wee ones and how they’ve grown. Christmas morning breakfast treats have been set out and the littles can only do what anyone would faced with sweet temptation can!
Cinnamon Sea Salt Pull-Aparts
Makes one regular bundt pan.
Ingredients:
1/2 bag Rhodes rolls (18)
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup nuts of choice
1 small package vanilla pudding (cook & serve, not instant)
Directions:
  • Dip each roll in butter. Arrange in bottom of the pan.
  • In a bowl, add remaining ingredients to leftover butter.
  • Pour over the rolls. Cover with a towel. Let stand over night.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cover top with foil for the last 10 minutes of bake time.
  • Flip over onto serving tray and sprinkle with fleur de sel.
Cinnamon Sea Salt Pull-Aparts are just the thing to wake up to Christmas morning. You can do your prep work the night before and then stick them into the oven just before the troops arise! They will make your home smell decadent with warm butter, brown sugar and spice.
Stylist: la ricki | Photography: The Birdie Girl Co. | Food Tastemaker: See Salt| Tableware & Giftware: urbAna | Stockings, wrapping & ornaments: Shutterfly| Pajamas: Target| Children’s Gifts: La Grande Orange

Girlfriends Gift Gathering

“What group of sweet friends doesn’t look forward to their annual girl’s gift exchange night! We get to dress up, make our spaces festive, and be creative and thoughtful for the ones we appreciate. The smartest idea ever is personalized gift wrap paper and stickers, adding those detailed and perfect touches under the tree. Filling wrapped boxes with jewelry pretties and personalized notes + cards are long lasting presents for your girls. A must to add to the festivities is dessert! Chocolate and coffee cake topped with gorgeous winter fruit pears was a hit. The area is set to serve drinks from a glamorous bar cart and all of our friends could cozy up around throws and pillows and festive greenery. Gathering together during the flurry of busy and festive season. We love taking a moment to exchange warm thoughts and affirmations about such special and meaningful friendships. Setting out quotes special to friends, laying out crystals, and being around gorgeous greenery is an easy way to set a beautiful, spiritual mood.”

Credits:
Photography by: The Birdie Girl Company
Styling by: la Ricki
Location & Florals by: Camelback Flowershop
Tableware & Barware by: urbAna
Food Tastemaker: Jar of Buttons
Fashion by: T. Madison Shop
Hair by: Zach Glielmi
Makeup by: Lillian Fogel
Gift Wrap, Monogram Home Accents & Personalized Paper Gifts: Tiny Prints

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