Category - Lifestyle

1
Birdytell Delivers Love and Thoughtfulness Throughout Phoenix
2
An Enchanted Dinner In the Desert
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Fitness and Therapy Collide During AZ Goat Yoga

Birdytell Delivers Love and Thoughtfulness Throughout Phoenix

Birdytell, curated gifting, phoenix, arizona, gifting

“A little birdy once told me…. ”

Lisa Morrow was five when she moved to Arizona. For a while, she traveled around; but always found herself back in Arizona. She’s always had a fondness for the state, as well as entrepreneurship and creating. She owned a coffee shop in Phoenix for a bit until becoming a parent. She then got her Master’s in counseling, and worked as a crisis counselor. It was during that time that she realized how disconnected and lonely people were, especially since technology has gotten more prevalent in our daily lives. It had her thinking about how to connect the future as our society becomes more plugged in.

Birdytell was largely born out of a moment of frustration. Lisa kept getting asked, “What do your kids/husband want?” as it neared the holidays. “I’m going to be buying all these gifts, and trying to take care of all these needs, and I won’t have time to spend with my children because I only have a few days off to do what I love to do… It’s the idea that we are purchasing things, but we don’t really know people very well anymore…There’s got to be a way for people to be more thoughtful to one another. I think there are ways to connect with people through celebration, and even connect them within their community. All these feelings just bubbled up in this moment while I was at the office… I just started thinking about how we can know and connect each other better and do that through celebration,” Lisa explained.

Birdytell, curated gifting, phoenix, arizona, gifting

So one day, she came home and told her husband about the idea. “I wanted to eventually leave my job and start this whole team and company, and he was very supportive. The next morning, he said, “you’ll have to come up with a name,” Lisa was telling me. “I just didn’t want the word, ‘gift’ in the name. I wanted it to be something sweet and a little more meaningful, like a ‘little birdy told me…’ So the husband wrote ‘a little birdy told me,’ and changed the configuration of the words. He came up with ‘birdytell.’ I love birds so much, but it had nothing to do with that. It was just a phrase that came to mind. It’s like if a little birdy could tell you a little bit more or remind you that we want to be thoughtful…People have a deep need to connect and the intention is there..there’s just a mismatch of how it plays out. So if you just had a birdy to tell you, then we could all be a little more thoughtful, so it’s a play on that.”

Birdytell, curated gifting, phoenix, arizona, gifting

Throughout the years, entrepreneurship has risen in Arizona, especially in the Phoenix area. Due to that, Lisa thought that the community would be a perfect start for this bespoke business. She found a quaint office space in the heart of Downtown Scottsdale, based upon its vicinity to the different communities around Phoenix. She wanted to source everything as thoughtfully as possible. “We wanted to know the people that made the items in person. We didn’t want things coming in boxes. If we were going to buy products, we wanted to support small businesses. We want to champion people that are trying to create great things and make their dreams come true. We also do things that don’t make sense. We don’t ship. We’ve had to turn away business, as it doesn’t fulfill the experience of us really wanting to be something special and unique.” With that being said, they only hand-deliver within a 25-mile radius of the Phoenix Metro area. They also give their clients a choice of stopping by the Scottsdale office to pick up the gift.

As far as vendors are concerned, they offer quite an assortment, though they are always on the hunt for new and exciting brands. “We encourage vendors to come in, or we go meet them. We can talk a little bit about market needs/desires. Or have you thought about making this or that. That dialogue really helps shape our business and connect with people and understand their products better… We want to create collaboration instead of competition, so we try to take a few items that would be unique to an experience. We can fit people in different places where they can shine, and are unique.”

Seriously, who wouldn’t want a cute box of goodies from local artisans?! Birdytell offers most of my favorite local brands, including:  Paige Poppe, MAME Soy Candles, Oxford Dogma, Ruze Cake House, Iconic Cocktail Co., Teaspressa, M+A Naturals, Crooked Cactus, Iron Root, Enlightened Candles, Boyfriend Candles, Burn Candle Co., XO Confections, The Simple Farm, Black Rock Engraving, Citizen Home Decor, Stone Grindz Chocolate, Tea Time Scottsdale, wooden toys made by a 2nd generation toy maker, Fynn Baby, Be Good, See Salt, Passport Coffee, Bluehouse Coffee, Lafayette Avenue Ceramics, American Mule, Happy Tails Barkery, and Lua Skincare.

The curated gifting experience had a soft launch during Mother’s Day of last year, and has had an amazing response.

Birdytell, curated gifting, phoenix, arizona, gifting

Birdytell, curated gifting, phoenix, arizona, gifting

Birdytell, curated gifting, phoenix, arizona, gifting

Birdytell, curated gifting, phoenix, arizona, gifting

Be sure to check out their Instagram, “We feel like we can tell a visual story better, and celebrate more people that way. We try to highlight makers every week, as well as show new things that we have.”

Birdytell, curated gifting, phoenix, arizona, gifting

Birdytell, curated gifting, phoenix, arizona, gifting

Birdytell, curated gifting, phoenix, arizona, gifting

Birdytell, curated gifting, phoenix, arizona, gifting

“There’s something lovely about getting a gift that’s been made by, hand packed by, and handwritten by people in their own community. It’s just this nice circle… We’re all here for you on your special day.”

Birdytell, curated gifting, phoenix, arizona, gifting

The holiday season is soon approaching. If you are local to the Phoenix area, what better way to show your love, or appreciation of your friend or significant other, then to get them a personalized or curated box from Birdytell.

Birdytell, curated gifting, phoenix, arizona, gifting

Thank you, Lisa!

 

An Enchanted Dinner In the Desert

Cloth & Flame, desert dinner, Phoenix, desert

I had first heard about the Cloth & Flame desert dinners when I met Matt Cooley and Olivia Laux during Phoestivus 2016. The duo come from two different backgrounds. Olivia worked in chemical engineering; while Matt worked in tourism in Alaska, and worked wholesale for an ice cream shop in Oregon.

Cloth & Flame was born on the premise of encouraging community, and inspiring people into helping protect the Sonoran Desert and wilderness areas here in Arizona. According to the website, “We pay to lease land for our dinners, so areas that might otherwise be developed can act instead as a source of income for the landowner. We also give 10% of every dinners’ proceeds to great coalitions that work to preserve migratory routes and wild places in our inimitable state.”

They had first included the dinners along with their balloon tours, but as of December 31st 2016, they branched out to also just do the dinners. “We just realized that more could be done with it. It’s just stunning out there and so many people in our community never have the chance to really spend time in the desert, or just don’t know where to begin. We started collaborating with local chefs and artisans, and realized that others are inspired by the desert too, and the rest is history,” Matt further explained. 

I had the chance to experience this magical desert bespoke, alfresco-style meal recently, and was just so impressed at the whole concept. I arrived that their North Phoenix office, which was the official meet-up point. After a brief introduction, and what to expect, we were loaded into two vans and drove to the destination.

About a half-hour later, we arrived in the heart of the desert; away from the city and freeways. The long community-style wooden table and benches were set up amongst the saguaros and cholla. The table was set with desert florals, china, and silverware. It was like a bohemian fairytale.

We started out with a cocktail hour, accompanied with an appetizer. While most everyone had the ceviche, myself and a couple other vegetarians had the kimchi “crackers” and guacamole. It was actually really good! It had just enough spice for a small kick, but the guacamole leveled it out with just the right amount of flavor.

 Kimchi and guacamole, Cloth & Flame, desert dinner

Kimchi “Crackers” and Guacamole

 

After cocktail hour, we all gathered at the table, where Matt and Olivia introduced themselves and told us about the company. We then feasted on the first course. My vegetarian version was the Charred Spring Pea Toast. Again, didn’t disappoint. I definitely could’ve eaten more than one of those.

Charred Spring Pea Toast, Cloth & Flame, desert dinner

Charred Spring Pea Toast

Next up was the pozole. Again, I had the meatless version. Mushrooms floated in this amazing broth, that had somewhat of a spicy kick. The cabbage and lime were added as extra flavor. Definitely one of those dishes that I could eat over and over.

Vegetable Pozole, Cloth & Flame, desert dinner

Vegetable Pozole

The main entree for me was the Charred Cauliflower, Kimchi Potato Salad, and Spring Vegetables. I really loved the flavor of the charred cauliflower, which I also mixed in with the kimchi potato salad, making for an effortless flavorful combination.

Charred cauliflower, kimchi potato salad, spring vegetables, Cloth & Flame, desert dinner

Charred Cauliflower, Kimchi Potato Salad, Spring Vegetables

Our last course was dessert. We had the Pistachio Pound Cake, Citrus, Mint Meringues, and Citrus Sabayon. Goodness, what a great way to end an evening in the desert.

Pistachio pound cake, citrus, mint meringues, and citrus sabayon, Cloth & Flame, desert dinner

Pistachio Pound Cake, Citrus, Mint Meringues, and Citrus Sabayon

I want to personally thank (and e-hug) the following people that made that night possible and inspiring: Chefs Brent Kille and Donny Hawk from Okra and The Gladly respectively. The Cloth & Flame team: Olivia Laux and Matt Cooley- Co-Owners, Alana Tivnan- Events and Growth Manager,  Holly Ruggerio- Director of Operations, and Derek Christensen- Head Chef.

Be sure to also follow Cloth & Flame on Facebook and Instagram.

Fitness and Therapy Collide During AZ Goat Yoga

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

I know what you guys must be thinking, ‘Goats? Yoga? Goats and yoga??’  Well, the answer is YES… Goat Yoga is a thing…and it’s quite truly amazing. The concept was created by friends – April Gould and Sarah Williams around September 2016. Sarah is the yogi, who has been teaching the art form for more than 20 years, and also owns Desert Paddleboards. April is the gal who owns the cutest goats around the Phoenix area. The friends were also on American Ninja Warrior, which was where April was proclaimed “Goat Whisperer.”

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

Sarah felt that a lot of people are actually intimidated by going to a normal yoga class (I know I am). So that’s why she first launched paddleboard yoga, and then teamed up with April to do the goat yoga. “We wanted to do something together. Since she does yoga and I have goats, it just made sense,” April said.

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

The goat yoga classes first started out at April’s house in Gilbert, but soon had to move venues, as the classes just started filling up. They moved their home base to a sprawling ranch about three miles away from April’s home. They feel it gives people a real Arizona experience, and it was same atmosphere as their first venue. The adult and baby goats are all emotional support certified, and they have been trained to specifically do yoga.

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

The morning of the class, I had been feeling kinda shitty (ain’t gonna lie), but as soon as I arrived at the sign-in table and walked into the gated pasture, my horrible mood instantly lifted. I mean, it’s normally not everyday that you come across a yoga class that involved any sort of animal. The other great part, is that they were all dressed up in the cutest little outfits. Sarah and April told me that the outfits were mostly made from grandmas living in the area. The idea to dress them up, came up during Halloween, when they were going to be on the news. The news segment got a glowing response. “Our goal is to make people happy, so to see a goat dressed up, makes people even more happy. So we just keep adding costumes, and people will bring us costumes. The Dollar Store loves us, ” the ladies explained.

We did the hour long class, with Sarah making hilarious jokes throughout. Folks- let me be honest in saying that I could barely concentrate on doing the actual yoga part, when there were goats jumping up on us, as we were in the downward dog position. We were all taking photos and just living in the moment. A girl even got asked to prom. What a great “prom-posal,” dont’cha think?!

The 40 minute trip to Gilbert was definitely worth it. Sarah and April are lovely and witty. The goats were incredibly cute and well-trained. It’s also not every day that you have a goat walking on your back, which actually felt like a nice mini massage.

“If you go to a yoga studio, you drive to a yoga studio… you have to drive in traffic and everything. But {for goat yoga} you kinda get out in nature, and you get to see animals and you get to see people having fun. It’s just a win-win all around.” – Sarah

“It brings the community together, and that’s a big part. We really want to make people happy, bring the community together, just get away from the daily stresses of life.” -April

“So many people that come, would never go to a yoga studio. This isn’t intimidating at all. Goats don’t judge, they just love.” -Sarah

“One thing that’s special about goat yoga is that we do all kinds of yoga. We do traditional, mandala, acro ; so it’s a very good way to get to do all kinds of yoga. It’s not just regular or hot yoga. You can also meditate.” -April

Classes are an hour, but you can come early and stay late if you want to hang out with the goats. Also, $12 a class ya’ll! Check out their website to sign up, and get other information on the classes that are life-changing.

Keep scrolling to see more pictures from the morning!

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

AZ Goat Yoga, Gilbert, Yoga, AZ, Goat

 

 

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