Your Art Party in Phoenix a unique painting party

I am really, REALLY loving public painting parties. It’s great to use your brain when you go out, and it’s neat to have something so cool to take home with you when you’re done.

I’ve hit up The Brush Bar in Scottsdale, and I recently discovered Your Art Party in downtown Phoenix. The space is super-intimate, with a capacity of 14 people, and it’s BYOB, so you can bring as much beer and wine as you want to imbibe while you’re painting.

I had a blast when I went to paint this sunset recently.

Your Art Party in Phoenix, AZ

Everyone in the class was super-friendly and chatty and made you feel like your friends instantly. Our teacher, Mandie, was absolutely hysterical, and the painting was simple enough for everyone in the room, even a pre-teen in our group, to paint successfully.

I’m excited for a private party I’m hosting there next month and think it’s so cool you’re able to fill the space yourself for only $25 a person. Find more information on Your Art Party here.

O.H.S.O. Eatery + Distillery a great dog-friendly restaurant

You’ve got to love dog-friendly restaurants. Dogs just inject more joy into any situation they’re in, and whenever I can hang out with my pughuahua, Chico Hombre, I’m thrilled.

Chico Hombre at O.H.S.O. Eatery + Distillery in Scottsdale.

Chico and I headed to the new O.H.S.O. Eatery + Distillery in north Scottsdale, where servers deliver fresh water bowls to tables with pooches on the patio, along with a bag of treats to keep them busy while you get your pub and grub on. Each table has a carabiner you can tie your leash to, and Chico had a blast entertaining the guests around us.

Sip on a brewskie from the extensive beer list featuring dozens of options, or get a mimosa ($6), like I did. For dinner, my companion loved his turkey burger and fries ($12),

Turkey burger at O.H.S.O. Eatery + Distillery in Scottsdale.

while my grilled cheese on ciabatta with avocado and tomato and a side salad ($12) was might tasty.

Grilled cheese at O.H.S.O. Eatery + Distillery in Scottsdale

The patio had fans to cool people off, and the staff was super-friendly and professional. The Arcadia location of O.H.S.O. has always been one of my faves, and I’m stoked they’ve opened one in Scottsdale.

Download the O.H.S.O. app to reserve a brew-your-own-beer night with your friends. It’s $50 to reserve a spot, but you get a $50 gift card to come back and drink your creation. How awesome is that?

Learn more about O.H.S.O. here.

Topgolf in Scottsdale fun for non-golfers, dogs

If you ever wanted to golf with Fido by your side, Topgolf in Scottsdale is your place.

Topgolf in Scottsdale

The recently opened driving range lets you bring your canines along for the ride, who can relax on cushioned couches as you bounce off balls into targets throughout the range.

Its dog-friendliness isn’t its only draw. Anyone will have fun at Topgolf, whether you’re a pro with the sticks or not. Each hole has its own misted and fanned lounge area, with servers delivering drinks and food as you compete against your friends.

Topgolf in Scottsdale

There are full bars on both golfing levels, as well as a rooftop bar, and fire pits and extra lounging areas give a great view of Valley sunsets, making it a bonafide Scottsdale rooftop bar contender.

Topgolf in Scottsdale

For those who do golf, up to six people can compete against each other to score points by hitting balls into one of the netted areas. Rates are hourly, after you pay a $5 membership fee. It’s $25/hour between open-noon, $35/hour between noon-5 p.m. and $45/hour between 5 p.m.-close. Divided by a group of six, that’s not too bad, and I loved it as a new fun alternative to group bowling.

Something I wasn’t a fan of was that woods and drivers are not allowed, only irons. A driving range where you can’t use your driver?! Yep.

Apparently too many people were hitting the ball over the fence into Talking Stick Resort area. Bummer.

Still, it’s pretty darn awesome to hit balls in cool air to Top 40 music. Learn more about Topgolf here.

Solo Boxeo Tecate at Celebrity Theatre packs a punch

I never, ever thought I would willingly go to a boxing match, but I’m thankful Iron Boy Promotions invited me to check out Solo Boxeo Tecate this past Saturday at Celebrity Theatre. The action was fun to watch, the crowd was rowdy, and the matches were glitzy – as close as we can get to Vegas here in the Valley.

Solo Boxeo

The fight night was broadcast on UniMas and featured boxers from all over the country, including quite a few from right here in Phoenix. There were attractive ring girls, a charming, enthusiastic host, and loyal crews who pumped up the boxers – including a full marching band who came out for the title fight featuring local Jose Benavidez.

Solo Boxeo

I was surprised we have such a big boxing scene here in the Valley, and many Mexican fighters made the trek up north to participate, too. I loved the event was presented in two languages, and it was fun to see such great audience support for the fighters. I was scared I’d see a lot of blood or a stretcher, but thankfully, the event focused on safety, ending fights if boxers were dazed. It was nice to see the competitors hug it out after fighting, too.

The boxing show wasn’t violent like I anticipated – it was all about the athleticism, and it was neat to see so much strategy and defensive skills on display, rather than solely fists of fury. I would encourage you checking out Iron Boy’s next bout – keep up with the promo company, which also includes a Phoenix training gym, here.

Scorpius Dance Theatre brings Duran Duran to Phoenix Theatre

Duran Duran music lovers were treated to a band extravaganza this past weekend during Scorpius Dance Theatre‘s Catwalk at Phoenix Theatre. The show featured two Duran Duran-themed acts, first with a slew of dances choreographed by Scorpius founder Lisa Starry (whom you can learn more about on Phoenix People here), then with live music by Duran Duran tribute band Rio.

Rio Duran Duran tribute band

Scorpius has been entertaining Valley dance lovers for 15 years now, and their shows are fun, colorful and full of talent. The troupe of more than 20 members has plenty of adept hot bodies, including aerial specialists who flew around the stage on ropes and hoops to add a cool layer to the show.

Scorpius Dance Theatre at Phoenix Theatre

I am not super-familiar with Duran Duran music, but I really enjoyed the show because the music was upbeat and lent itself to eye-catching moves. There was a sexy bedroom scene, an intense aerial solo, and lots of group numbers that showed off toned glutes under short skirts.

Starry has put on Catwalk several times now, and my only suggestion would be to have added more dancing to the live band aspect, which was awesome to see toward the end.

You’ll definitely want to check out one of Scorpius’ upcoming shows, including their classic stand-out A Vampire Tale (which I’ve always loved seeing.) Find the full Scorpius schedule here.

Gadzooks enchiladas paradise for cheese lovers

Mmmm. Enchiladas have always been one of my favorite foods, and there’s a Phoenix eatery solely devoted to cheese-filled tortilla bites of heaven: Gadzooks.

Gadzooks enchiladas

For those of us who always dreamed of an enchilada bar, Gadzooks makes those reveries come true. The spot serves up just about any type of enchilada you’d like, as well as quesadillas, soup, tacos and salad. The tortillas are freshly made, and the combinations are endless.

Gadzooks soup quesadilla and tacos

Fillings include chicken, pork, potato, bison, mushroom, short ribs and two types of cheese ($6.50-$6.75 for two tacos or two enchiladas), and then you get to douse your order in salsa, sauce, slaw and more. You can order three, but two were plenty for me, and I left with a full, happy stomach.

The joint is order at-the-counter with a patio, and it’s a really great alternative to Chipotle if you’re looking for some new fast Mexican food. They also serve sangria, margaritas and beer. Find more info on Gadzooks here.

Arizona Wrestling Federation at Peoria Community Center excites all ages (VIDEO)

If you’re into muscle-laden guys in hot pants, check out the Arizona Wrestling Federation, which brings WWE-style action to local masses, with an entertaining show filled with humorous storylines and exciting ring smackdowns.

Arizona Wrestling Federation at Peoria Community Center

I checked out the competitors this past weekend at the Peoria Community Center, and a packed house cheered on guys such as Alexander Hammerstone and The Prophet, as they picked each other up, slammed each other on the ground, hit each other in very sensitive places, and dropkicked each other while hyping up fans with witty banter.

A suited-up emcee guided audience members through the action, as each wrestler was introduced to his own theme music and promo video before high-fiving fans and running up into the ring. The costumes were colorful, the trash talk seemed genuine, and the pain was real – I saw more than a couple bloody faces at the ends of matches.

Arizona Wrestling Federation at Peoria Community Center

I was really impressed with how passionate all the competitors seemed, from the care they put into their looks, to the sassy crowd interaction, to the precision of their fighting moves. There was never a dull moment, and the fans, which included many little kids and more than a few diehards with T-shirts bearing their favorite wrestlers’ logos, ate it up.

I had no idea something like this existed in the Valley, and while it’s a bummer it’s a bit of a drive all the way out to Peoria for us Scottsdale dwellers, it was well worth the trip. Tickets are cheap at only $7, since the amount of production that goes into the show is high-quality and could demand a much higher price – or at least a larger venue where they could reach more people. Tempe Center for the Arts comes to mind.

The Arizona Wrestling Federation has only been around for about a year, and they have another show coming up Saturday, August 9, again at the Peoria Community Center. It’s a fun family event, and if you love wrestling, you’ll definitely be impressed by the line-up. Find more information here.

Strawberry Hedgehog natural, vegan beauty products will make your nose happy

If you want eco-conscious beauty products and love to support local businesses, check out Strawberry Hedgehog. Now.

Strawberry Hedgehog

The local soap, facial mist, body cream, beard oil and deodorant line uses natural, vegan ingredients to create heavenly smelling offerings, which are cruelty-free. It was founded in 2007 by charming local lady Tracy Perkins and is sold in Whole Foods stores around Arizona, as well as online and in shops around the Valley and in California.

After a recent visit with Tracy, I took home a bag full of goodies I’m sort of addicted to smelling. The packaging is also adorable, and the soaps are really pretty – like extra decorations for your bathroom.

I’m absolutely in love with the Tea Tree-Rosemary Face bar, $9, with organic coconut oils, organic palm oil and natural herbs, spices and minerals. It’s ideal for oily to combination skin, promoting antioxidant activity and includes invigorating peppermint and gentle exfoliating qualities. It smells amazing – probably the best thing to cover your face with on the daily – and really leaves you feeling clean and refreshed.

Tea Tree Rosemary clarifying facial soap Strawberry Hedgehog

I got two soaps – some Blueberry Lavender, $8, which is one of Tracy’s most popular brands, and a Lavender Vanilla, $8, which has two of my favorite scents.

Blueberry Lavender Strawberry Hedgehog

Lavender Vanilla Strawberry Hedgehog

They’re both made with organic coconut oils, palm oils, herbs and minerals, and they work up great lathers that will make you never want to stop washing your hands.

I also was treated to a Hydrating Mist, $10, a refreshing spray that is good for setting mineral makeup or to just cool off and add some antioxidant-filled ingredients to your precious pores. It contains tea, organic aloe vera and essential oils, and instead of leaving you oily, it helps to balance your hydration levels so you don’t overproduce oil to compensate for dryness. As someone with oily skin, trust me, I love this mist!

Hydrating Mists Strawberry Hedgehog

One of the coolest things about Strawberry Hedgehog is that there are “Soap Clubs” offered. Because the soaps are all made from vegan ingredients, they have a shorter shelf life than artificial stuff, so it’s best to get them in smaller quantities. With the Soap Club, you get a unique new scent each month, and each bar lasts one person who uses it for daily showering about a month. The club starts at $30 for three months, which includes all shipping and handling. You’re saving money on three bars, and you get access to seasonal or special scents. What a cool gift idea! The more you purchase, the higher the discount.

Tracy also hosts monthly workshops on the third Thursday of every month. Thursday, June 19 will be a class on aromatherapy, and you can keep up-to-date on all the Strawberry Hedgehog happenings on the Facebook page.

Find out more about Strawberry Hedgehog, and make purchases, here.

Scandalesque brings the sexy to The Pressroom

Local burlesque troupe Scandalesque has been going strong for 10 years now, and for good reason. The highly entertaining show, which includes everything from acrobatics and fire twirling, to sexy striptease and song-and-dance, features talented performers who craft carefully choreographed, polished acts for a highly professional performance.

Scandalesque at The Pressroom

I’ve been a fan of the troupe since I first saw them at the now-closed Paper Heart in Phoenix around seven years ago, and when I checked them out at The Pressroom in downtown Phoenix this past weekend, I was thrilled with how their Madonna/Marilyn Monroe-themed show turned out.

Scandalesque at The Press Room

Founders Pyrrha (Christy Zandlo) and Lady Fonatyne (Julianna Curtis) are the anchors of the show, performing many of the songs and getting the crowd pumped up for their supporting cast members. The ladies are both stellar singers with uber-hot bodies, and they draw inspiration from classic burlesque performances to put together their shows. A feisty host kept the action moving, with songs alternating between the two legendary singers.

Scandalesque at The Press Room

Each song included dazzling costumes, and there was always something cool to watch, whether it was feather fans covering up a nearly naked upper-half, or a performer climbing up and flipping around fabric high off the ground. Sure, there was a ton of skin being shown off, but the moves were classy.

Paired with live art, cigarette gals mingling in the crowd, a full bar and a ton of audience participation (including lucky guys who received lap dances), the event was captivating all around.

Find more on Scandalesque here.

Courtney Cotter King brings sunshine and happiness to Rogue Bar

Courtney Cotter King is a breath of fresh air in the Valley music scene. The cutie pie is a talented singer/pianist with powerhouse vocals and melodies that will leave you dancing and smiling.

Courtney Cotter King at Rogue Bar

I checked her out at Rogue Bar this week, a dive bar that provided a cool contrasting background to her poppy tunes. She played tracks off her current album, Rooftops, deftly tinkling the keys with a full backing band. I would definitely say Cotter King is one artist to watch out for in the Arizona music scene — learn more about her here, and watch some videos from the show below.