Blue Jean Buyer

1810 North Scottsdale Road, Tempe 480-947-8245Looking for the perfect pair of broken-in Levi's 501s? How about a nicely distressed denim jacket? Maybe some beautifully frayed high-waist cutoffs, while we're at it? Jot Blue Jean Buyer down on your shops-to-visit list. Now. The small store packs in a whole lot of the everyman's heavy-duty cotton textile. In fact, you'll find a whole wall dedicated to it, a wall covered with more cuts, colors, and styles than you'll find on your best day of Goodwill hunting. Unsure of how to style your rocker-biker item? No thing. You'll find nicely worn band T-shirts, leather jackets, turquoise jewelry, and rugged boots and belts, too.

We were rooting around in the family safe and came across Dad's old Bulova wristwatch. A gorgeous rose gold with a tinted, magnified crystal, it had been Mom's wedding day gift to Dad in 1946 and was inscribed to him with love. It was dead as a doornail, but how could we not send it out for restoration? We braced ourselves: Restoring a nearly 70-year-old watch would not only be costly, we figured, but might also mean dealing with some snotty weirdo who wanted to talk us into buying matching earrings or something else equally annoying.

Boy, were we wrong. A quick Internet search for "vintage watch restoration Phoenix" turned up — huzzah! — a Phoenix-based service called Vintage Watch Restoration, which resulted in one of the best jewelry experiences we've ever had. In the watch-repair business since 2001, owner Bruno Park (a charming, French-speaking fellow from the island of Mauritius) not only came and picked up Dad's watch from our office, but ended up charging us less than his already-low estimate for repair and restoration. (Park also accepts watches through the mail and reportedly does international business as a restorationist.) We wear Dad's watch every day now, and it not only looks great and makes us feel closer to him, but it tells time, too. Now we're scrounging around, looking for other broken watches for Mr. Park to repair.

Easley's Fun Shop

From Halloween to Easter, it seems we never run out of reasons to play dress-up. But when the seasonal pop-up shops are gone and all you can find online are sexy substitutes, there's one place in town that keeps the role-play rolling. Easley's Fun Shop has been bringing the fun to Phoenix for more than 60 years, starting as a magic store, expanding with gag gifts and novelty items, and ultimately filling its floor space with one of the largest selections of costumes in town. Easley's is a hard-to-miss yellow warehouse wonderland offering costumes for sale and for rent, for kids and adults, for dogs, and, well, you get the picture. Whether you're just looking for the final touches of a wig and makeup or the full get-up to buy or rent, Easley's is the easy answer to all your costume needs.

Let's get real. You're never going to get through your list of Pinterest to-dos. Nobody has the time to stencil cat patterns on her walls, make a lampshade from old dishtowels, and paint intricate patterns on her fingernails. And that's a-okay. Because nobody in town does nail art better than Scottsdale nail bar Terés. Whether you want each nail to resemble a tiny watermelon slice or a reverse glitter fade is more your style, the nail techs at this salon pride themselves on creativity. Heck, they even post their coolest hand creations on Instagram to inspire — and maybe show off a little, too. And don't worry about keeping track of your favorite colors and combos. The salon keeps track of all the manis you've had, from single-tint plain-Jane projects to arty gel works, on a bar tab-style card that ensures you'll never have to worry over remembering the colorful name of your favorite shade.

Ask any beauty parlor frequenter what her upkeep budget is, and it's likely she'll tell you that keeping up appearances can cost a pretty penny. That is, if she's willing to spill her secrets and doesn't give you the old "I just get plenty of rest and drink lots of water" routine. We call B.S. Chances are good that, unless her bank account is bottomless, she knows where to get a smokin' deal on nail treatments and haircuts. Such is the allure of one of the Valley's newest beauty schools, Aveda Institute Phoenix. Sure, the reason you get great deals on treatments like the Yume Japanese Hair Spa Experience (which includes a deep-conditioning hair treatment, scalp massage, and facial starting at $40) is because students are performing them. But they're fully supervised by trained staffers who make sure everything goes as smoothly as you'll feel after one of Aveda's waxing treatments, which cost anywhere from $12 to $45-plus. Also on the menu are gel manis for $25 (including removal of your old gel), makeup lessons for $35, and the divine sounding Rosemary Mint Awakening Body Wrap at $35.

Camelback Inn, A JW Marriott Resort & Spa, Scottsdale

Between Camelback and Mummy mountains is our favorite retreat. The Spa at Camelback Inn is the perfect place to spend a day unwinding solo. It's quiet. It's tucked away. There's no traffic. No TV. No phone. You'll just hear the sounds of flowing water and gentle, gentle music in the background. With the purchase of a one-hour service (which could be a massage, facial, or body treatment), you'll receive a one-day spa pass that grants access to pools, saunas, private cabanas (you can reserve one), and fitness facilities. Our advice? Block out a whole day to spend at the supremely relaxing facilities, and walk the tranquil grounds of its resort once your time's up.

Vintage by Misty

Misty Guerriero is a daring dresser. Pattern, color, texture, and shape are all to be played with. And if you take a trip to her Phoenix storefront, that's all you'll want to do. Guerriero dares her shoppers to push their style boundaries. Try a bold print. Give a powerful silhouette a shot. Put 'em together and you'll have something aligned with her globetrotting fashion sense; she likes to call it gypset style, a movement associated with boldly dressed world roamers (Gypsy plus jet-set equals gypset). If the head-to-toe anything isn't for you, don't fret. Guerriero has an unparalleled eye for color and pattern, and she'll share her tips and tricks for wearing her worldly goods well.

Wag N' Wash Healthy Pet Center

Does Fluffy need a scrub? Scared to cut her nails? Don't feel like expressing your best friend's anal glands (yeah, we didn't think so)? Then load her in the car and take her over to Wag 'N Wash, where the friendly staff will gladly give her a spray-down and tune-up. The Melrose district dog groomer offers a full-service pet spa as well as a do-it-yourself option. Prices range from about $13 to $36 depending on the size of your pet and the service you want. Hint: A full-grown husky with all that hair will be more than a 20-pound Boston terrier. While you're there, grab some of the fresh-baked doggy treats and a new play toy. Your dog will be in heaven — and smell good, too — when you get home.

Arizona Animal Welfare League Shelter

The recently refurbished AAWL is a terrific place to adopt a cat or dog — and we're equally fond of their educational programs. If you have a scout troop, you can arrange for a tour of the exotic animal room (complete with resident hedgehog — they won't let you pet her, but still, cool, huh?) and if you have a free week in the summer, for a fee (warning: it's not the cheapest summer camp in town) Junior can even learn how to be a vet. Well, not quite — but close.

Kids 12 and up will dissect a cow eyeball, give a kitten an examination, watch operations and observe a few things we are too squeamish to describe here, but which are sure to thrill your not-easily-grossed-out kid. Ours emerged ready to apply to medical school. Just try to end the week without adopting (yet another) puppy. We dare you.

Ever seen a yellow anaconda? How about a green anaconda? What about a false water cobra? The water cobra is six feet long, can flatten its neck to look similar to the Indian cobra (the snakes that dance in baskets to flute music), is slightly venomous, and is for sale in Tempe at Reptile Mogul Exotics. Owner Jared Ohsman has 20 years' experience handling reptiles and other animals normally reserved for nightmares and that scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Reptile Mogul Exotics has plenty of pythons, boas, lizards, scorpions, and tarantulas as well as docile reptiles like chameleons, geckos, and turtles for sale. For those of us who enjoy the idea of falling asleep next to an animal that could potentially escape from its cage and attack us, Reptile Mogul Exotics is where we shop to keep on our toes.

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