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Honey Bear’s BBQ

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in Travel | 0 comments

In Phoenix, summer barbecue season means feeling like you’re on the grill whenever you step outside.

When I was looking through photos for pre-Independence Day post ideas, I came across some from Honey Bear’s BBQ, and I thought, “well, that beats standing in the sun in triple-digit temps!”

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Inside a building with a charmingly ramshackle facade on Van Buren in Phoenix, two families have been serving slow-cooked Tenessee-style barbecue since 1986. They regularly win New Times Best of Phoenix awards.

If you can’t decide between a barbecue pork, beef, or chicken sandwich, you can get sliders and try them all. They also have really good sides – classics like cole slaw and mac + cheese.

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The original Van Buren location is not far from Papago Park. In fact, the last time we visited was right after a trip to the Phoenix Zoo. They also have a restaurant on Central. And you’ll be able to find them at several events around the Valley of the Sun 4th of July weekend.

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Indypendence Day

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 in Travel | 5 comments

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I’ve got a family reunion coming up in Indiana over the 4th of July weekend.

I tend to spend a fair amount of time while I’m there sitting on porches, catching up with great aunts and uncles and cousins, sipping sweet tea and eating really delicious pie.

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This time, we’ll also be checking out some local sights and craft – and keeping an eye out for sweet corn stands.

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If I don’t drown in the humidity, it should be a nice time.

I have posts scheduled to go up here while I’m gone, and you can follow our Indiana fun on Instagram (#heartlandiana).


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Life Crush

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Life, Travel | 0 comments

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1. The Mountains

After a very cold winter in the tiny former mining town of Silver Plume, Colorado, the weather finally cleared up enough for Dram Apothecary to open up their patio on a mid-March Saturday.

On Instagram, they post shots of their rustic bakery-turned-cocktail-tasting-room or of things they make – teas, cocktails, syrups – or of founder Shae Whitney foraging for wild herb ingredients. They are near a place called Snowdrift Gulch, which was especially fitting the months that their photos were of white streets, foggy gray skies, and flurries outside the windows.

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Then, one weekend, they posted a photo of their (finally) sunny patio and announced they’d planned a party, complete with a DJ spinning super old school tracks from the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s.

A lot of people thought that sounded like fun (it did!), but one comment jumped out at me: “I want this life.”

It made me wonder what the commenter’s life was like.

So I clicked over to her Instagram feed.

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2. The Beach

The want-your-life commenter is somewhere in Southern California. The previous week her car thermometer had said 92 degrees – while snow was still falling on Dram Apothecary.

She posts amusing photos of dogs, she bakes, and she makes really cool-looking cocktails. She posted a photo of a guy on a beach with a surfboard hashtagged something like #myhusbandishotterthanyours.

It doesn’t seem like a bad life.

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In fact, in response to one silly shot, where she is pretending to eat an apple right off the tree, someone commented “life crush.”

In other words, this person has a crush on the life of the woman that wants the life of Shae at Dram Apothecary.

So I clicked over to the life crush-er’s feed.

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3. The Campground

It was a private account. But there was a link to a photo blog.

There are lots of photos of friends goofing off on camping trips. Lots of campfires and lakes, woods and desert. There is one of a guy with a marshmallow-toasting stick between his teeth. Another one is this big white, fluffy dog laying in the grass.

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Her bio lists her location as Los Angeles, but one post is titled “my home is Colorado”.

So these photos have taken us from Colorado to Southern California and back.

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4. Where You Live

Each of the women we’ve visited have scenery around them that is beautiful in its own way, time to have fun, and people to share it all with.

I bet you do too. Try imagining you’re a different person in a different place with a different set of ups and downs in your life.

Then flip through your photos, look at the views, the celebrations, the things that made you laugh, the people you love. And get a little jealous of yourself.

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Note: All the photos in this post are mine. I haven’t included any from the people I mention or linked to the commenters, because my intention is not to single them out or say they should have a different attitude, but to show how we all have those grass-is-greener moments, even if we have it pretty good. 

In case you’re curious, here’s where the photos above were taken – 1: Nederland, CO 2: Ridgway, CO 3: San Diego, CA 4: Tempe, AZ 5+6: Sierra Vista, AZ 7: Four Corners area 8: Scottsdale, AZ

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Week of Makers

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in Craft | 6 comments

To celebrate the Week of Making, I highlighted a different maker each day on Twitter. In case you missed it, here’s the wrap up:

Nancy Heinrich of Fun Junk upcycles vintage finds into jewelry, bags, and postcards.

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Ian Martin made a moving, laughing Star Wars puppet.

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Cosplayers Heather Ann, Straykat, and Whitney each had a different take on the Wonder Woman costumes they created.

Wonder Woman panel

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Waffle-party-throwers Chocolade van Brugge and Peixoto Coffee craft food and beverages with attention to detail.  

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Gordon Paul Mischke, who we met during a Sonoran Arts League Hidden in the Hills Tour a few years ago, creates large-scale metal art.

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Who do you know who has made something cool?

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Summer of the Waffle

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in Craft, Travel | 0 comments

I don’t remember how we got on the subject, but somehow I ended up speculating on what would be the next food trend to follow fancified cupcakes and ostentatious donuts.

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“Maybe waffles. Do you think waffles could be gourmet? Like will there be food trucks selling artisan waffles?”

Yes and yes, as it turns out.

There are now waffle trucks. And, here in Phoenix, there’s a waffle trailer that serves traditional Belgian liege waffles with the recipe, technique, and even sugar imported from Belgium.

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The trailer is the latest venture of Chocolade van Brugge, the chocolate shop I was introduced to during the Chocolate Tour of Scottsdale. So there are all kinds of tempting topping options, including, of course, really good chocolate.

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They’ve declared this The Summer of the Waffle and threw a party to kick it off, parking the trailer in Scottsdale’s Eldorado Park on a lovely May evening. Peixoto Coffee Roasters was there with big jars of iced coffee and cascara (coffee cherry tea) and their pour-over coffee setup. Hoot and Holler had organized the event and set the tables with beautiful flower arrangements.

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We tried a mini waffle topped with Nutella, strawberries, and whipped cream. Yep, that’s as awesome as it sounds. Our other mini waffle came with delicious dark chocolate, caramel, and more sea salt than I personally would’ve prefered – but I’m sure they’d lighten that up on request. I’d definitely order it again. 

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Peixoto did a decaf pour over for me, since it was late in the day. Ridiculously good. Did not taste like decaf. Phillip got an iced coffee, which he enjoyed (even though it kept him up). I like their iced coffee too. It’s my pre-CraftHack beverage of choice.

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We got to meet and chat with the owners of both shops. Both are passionate about their craft and their ingredients. Both have come from other continents, bringing along their heritage and sharing a part of it with the Phoenix community. 

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Besides the waffle truck that’s a trailer, you can find Chocolade van Brugge waffles at their main location in Old Town Scottsdale, and they frequently do pop up shops in Downtown Chandler at Peixoto.

Thank you to Peixoto, Chocolade Van Brugge, and Hoot and Holler for allowing us to be your guests at this event!

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Visit the Dinosaurs (They Won’t Bite)

Posted by on Jun 14, 2015 in Travel | 4 comments

From: Stephanie
To: Phillip
Date: April 22, 2014
Subject: I FOUND THE DINOSAURS!!
 
You know how when we go to California I’m always like “where are the dinosaurs?”, and you’re like “what?”
 
Well, add this to the list of things I was not making up: http://retroroadmap.com/spot/giant-dinosaurs-in-the-desert-cabazon-ca/
 
YEAH!!
 
We need to go visit them.

 

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I misremembered the location of the life-sized T-Rex and Brontosaurus that had always been a landmark on childhood road trips to California, and I was beginning to think they’d gone extinct.

Clicking around on travel blogs one day, I ended up at Retro Roadmap, which happened to have a post about the Cabazon Dinosaurs right on the front page. It was the classic concrete odd couple I remembered – predator and prey permananetly locked in unmoving tension – about 15 miles outside Palm Springs. I was irrationally excited.

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Obviously, this would be a mandatory stop on the way to Star Wars Celebration Anaheim.

After closing time, you can’t go inside or see the new “museum” of animatronic dinosaurs, but you can walk around outside and even picnic under the belly of the Brontosaurus. So we took silly photos, and I did that thing you do as you get older (hey, let’s face it, I’m old enough to have childhood memories of dinosaurs) of telling Phillip exactly what did and didn’t use to be there.

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Then we lumbered down the road to hunt for date shakes.

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