Tag - Travel

FOUND:RE – Phoenix’s Newest Boutique Destination
Moxy Tempe Staycation
Wanderlust and White Sands

FOUND:RE – Phoenix’s Newest Boutique Destination

FOUND:RE Hotel in Phoenix, AZ

What do excellent service, amazing farm-to-table-to-farm food, cozy rooms, and a painting of a Burt Reynolds/Britney Spears hybrid have in common?

Downtown Phoenix’s newest boutique hotel- FOUND:RE is a combination of the aforementioned. While the present hotel (located near the artsy Roosevelt Row) is new, the building itself is from the 1970s, and served as a hotel (Lexington and a Best Western) and restaurant. The hotel’s designers knew the space needed an overhaul, but loved the structure’s old bones; so they sought to expose them. The name “FOUND:RE” was chosen based on the concept of ‘foundry,’ which ties to the industrial, urban aesthetic of the hotel, but with the focus on arts and discovery. “We wanted to play more with the “FOUND” portion of the name – separating it with industrial rivets “:” and spelling the end like the abbreviation for “regarding”… It opened so many possibilities for us to communicate our message in a playful way:  RE vive, RE vitalize, RE fresh, etc.  You’ll find this wordplay at work in signs all around the hotel,” Parley Stock- Director of Sales and Marketing, explained.

Having said that, the city’s latest destination also pays homage to Roosevelt Row and its funky, urban, and artistic culture. The hotel’s lobby features numerous photos, sculptures, paintings, and mixed media pieces by local artists, such as: Randy Slack, Cheryle Marina, Shauna Thiboult, Diego Perez, Ronna Nemitz, Travis Ivey, and Linda Ingraham. What really captured my eye, in a comical, yet borderline genius way, was the massive painting of a nude Burt Reynolds with a blonde Britney Spears- esque wig that was hanging over the reception desk. That piece is called- “That was Then, This Is Now,” but is mainly referred to as: “Burtney,” which is Slack’s vision of Burt Reynolds’ 1972 spread in Cosmopolitan magazine. I also thought that Linda Ingraham’s “Reveries”- five large scale portraits with matching throw pillows, really draws attention to the lounge area. You’ll find whimsical art all over the hotel, from the reception area, to the event rooms; the fitness room, and the pool area. Most of the artwork is also for sale.

I stayed at the hotel over the course of two days in one of their 8th floor suites. The reception staff was really attentive, friendly, and delivered a breezy check-in. The suites even have their own separate elevator. The overall hotel room hallways have grey walls, with the room doors a lush navy blue. Each room number plaque was handmade by local artist- Cheryle Marina. The suites are large with rolling barn-style doors that close off the living room with the bedroom. The decor, I would say, has an urban industrial inspiration with furnishings and artwork that were done by local artists. The bar has a mini fridge, a Keurig with a small variety of coffee and tea, and a cocktail mixer kit. There is a restroom off to the side, with the large shower area (I do literally mean ‘shower area’ because of how big the space is) at the back of the bedroom. There are two shower heads in the space, which is also equipped with C.O. Bigelow bath amenities. The shower itself is enclosed in glass, but with no door (it’s still easy to keep water in the designated area, just try not to splash around). On one side, the glass was frosted, with the saying “Not so sexy,” while on the other side, the glass is clear, with the saying “Sexy.” I guess it just depends on your mood. Other bathroom amenities that made my stay comfortable was a bathrobe and slippers. There is a small area to hang clothing, but the rooms (all 105 of them, in fact) are equipped with industrial-style luggage carts. The custom carts were locally designed by Bang Bang Designs. A good night’s sleep was easily had, due to the cozy bed. There were plenty of outlets for keeping my devices charged. The rooms also come equipped with tablets, where guests could order room service (coming soon at the time of this post), order spa treatments, and request housekeeping and guest services. I LOVED the large balcony. Mine overlooked downtown Phoenix and the mountains. I was even able to catch glimpses of the sunrise and sunset on both days. There is a nightly turndown service, where they leave Salted Serenity caramels and a postcard.

I was able to dine at the hotel’s signature restaurant- Match Cocktails and Cuisine. Match got its’ name from the concept of a foundry being a place where metals are forged in- fire. It is also a nod to their numerous menu items that come from the wood-fired Forno Bravo oven and wood-fired grill. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner; with all ingredients coming from local farmers. They use the “farm-to-table-to-farm” program, where they receive the produce from local farmers, then return the waste to Recycled City for composting. That compost then helps new local crops to grow. The constantly-changing menu is spearheaded by Executive Chef Akos Szabo, and focuses on globally-inspired sharable plates. I experienced their Christmas Day menu, where I had the following:

Chestnut Soup with Noble Bread, Match Cocktails and Cuisine, Phoenix dining

Starter Course- Creamy Chestnut Soup + Noble Bread

Eggplant Lasagna, Noble Bread, main course, Match Cocktails and Cuisine, Phoenix dining

Au gratin potatoes, Match Cocktails and Cuisine, Phoenix dining

            Entree- Eggplant Lasagna + Noble Bread + Au Gratin Potatoes

White chocolate peppermint cheesecake, dessert, Match Cocktails and Cuisine

Dessert- White Chocolate and Peppermint Cheesecake + Decaf Vanilla Latte

The lovely Lauren was my server that evening. She was incredibly hospitable and knowledgeable on the food.

The meal started off with the choice of a starter dish. I chose the Creamy Chestnut Soup with bread from Noble Bakery. It was almost like a creamy mushroom soup…only BETTER! The ingredients for this yummy dish (that I wish I currently had in my refrigerator) include: roasted vegetable stock, roasted chestnuts, housemade crème fraîche, thyme, bay leaf, Blis Bourbon maple syrup, Mirepoix (according to Wikipedia- a roughly chopped vegetable cut, usually a mixture of onions, carrots, and celery), and Minnesota wild rice. This is probably a seasonal soup, but I’d eat it anytime. It was just such a different flavor, and not to mention, comforting. The slices of Noble bread paired nicely alone, and for dipping into the soup. I chose the Eggplant Lasagna with Au Gratin Potatoes, and Noble bread as my main entree. Along with the griddled Japanese eggplant, other culinary ingredients included: over-dried heirloom tomatoes, wood roasted artichokes, mascarpone, ricotta, goat cheese, Bianco tomatoes, provolone, mozzarella, garden basil, and Pistou. The au gratin potatoes had Welsh cheddar mornay, russet potatoes, caramelized onions, Noble bread crumbs, and chives. The entree was filling, yet so good and fresh! I chose the White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake for my dessert. It was HEAVEN… so much that I’m still dreaming about it… Aside from the obvious ingredients, it also had coffee crema and dark chocolate bark. I felt that it had the right amount of richness and incredible flavor.

Thank you FOUND:RE for being my home away from home during the Christmas holiday. I want to also personally thank: Carolyn, Francis, Dave, Gabriel, Lindsay, Max, Tracy, Parley, and Je-Hyen.

The next time you are visiting Phoenix and are looking for a great place to stay, ‘FIND YOURSELF’ at FOUND:RE.

** I was given a complimentary stay and food in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Moxy Tempe Staycation

* The MOXY Tempe sponsored my room in exchange for an honest review. ALL opinions are my own.*

Moxy Tempe, sponsored post, travel blogger, arizona hotel

The MOXY Tempe is the newest boutique lifestyle hotspot to hit the college town of Tempe, Arizona. It recently opened in March and has since been a favorite for travelers, ASU students, and fashionistas alike.

Here is the breakdown of my stay:


Check in at MOXY Tempe, hotel, Tempe AZ hotel

The check-in process at this millennial- influenced Tempe hotel is fairly easy. You enter the lobby through the “space age” designed doorway and then head to the bar, where it also serves as the central hub for most of the hotel activity. The friendly staff will quickly take care of you, and also offer a complimentary welcome beverage. If alcohol isn’t your thing, they do offer non-alcoholic beverages. If you happen to drive in, be sure to get a parking pass, or else you are at risk for a tow.

The “Selfierator”…

The hotel elevator is not your average, boring elevator. Once you are inside, there’s a small sign that prompts you (if you wish to participate) to pick a prop from the balloon basket, and then take a selfie. Be sure to tag #atthemoxy and #moxytempe if you decide to post on Instagram.

Selfierator, MOXY Tempe, hotel

Selfierator, MOXY Tempe, hotel

Selfierator, MOXY Tempe, hotel

Selfierator, MOXY Tempe, hotel

The room….

The rooms at the MOXY Tempe are HUGE! Upon entering my room, there’s a small hallway that opens up to the main room. There is no closet, however PLENTY of wooden pegs line the wall and hangers are provided to hang garments. The comfy bed sits on a wooden platform with motion sensor lighting and features a brown leather headboard, and grey and white bedding. Other aspects of the room include a cozy sitting area, complete with birdcage lighting, a lengthy desk with Crosley retro-style record player with select vintage albums, a 49-inch LCD TV with local channels and access to Hulu and Netflix (just sign in to your account), and enough outlets to keep my phone and laptop charged wherever I choose to sit (even on the spacious balcony). A sliding barn-style door opens into the bathroom. I enjoyed showering in the glass-enclosed shower with a rain shower head and MUK bath products. It was so nice just being able to step out of the shower, refreshed, and go straight to the snug bed with crisp sheets and soft blankets. Oh, and don’t forget to dial 68 if you’d like to hear a bedtime story!

The overall hotel…

* Ample self parking

* Each floor has an ironing room. Since there is no in-room ironing board/iron, this quaint room is equipped with an ironing board and iron… and a cheeky poster of a tattooed dude ironing.

* The gym is on the 4th floor and offers a variety of equipment that is guaranteed to bust a sweat.

* The multifunctional lobby has several meeting areas, as well as a library with conference-style table with iMacs and a printer, perfect to quickly print out a boarding pass and whatnot.

* There are an abundance of games, including a pool table, hacky sack, and a few arcade games (anyone up for Mr. PacMan?).

* There is a 24/7 grab-n-go self service section, with food, drinks, and alcohol next to the bar. In the morning, I suggest ordering a Breakfast or S’more Naan and latte. I had the S’more Naan and vanilla latte, which was a great way to jumpstart my day!

* The courtyard has cabanas, ample seating, the pool, more games, and a vibrant mural by Peru Dyer Jalea. They usually have a DJ spinning some tunes (at least, they did when I stayed), so be sure to check out MOXY Tempe Instagram for local happenings.

MOXY Tempe Links:

* Website

* Facebook

* Twitter

* Instagram

* Yelp

Wanderlust and White Sands

Blogger, White Sands, New Mexico, outfit, style

Blogger, White Sands, New Mexico, outfit, style

Blogger, White Sands, New Mexico, outfit, style

Blogger, White Sands, New Mexico, outfit, style

Blogger, White Sands, New Mexico, outfit, style

Blogger, White Sands, New Mexico, outfit, style

Blogger, White Sands, New Mexico, outfit, style

Blogger, White Sands, New Mexico, outfit, style, Cordalife

Blogger, White Sands, New Mexico

Blogger, White Sands, New Mexico, outfit, style

Blogger, White Sands, New Mexico, outfit, style

Blogger, White Sands, New Mexico, outfit, style

Blogger, White Sands, New Mexico, outfit, style

(Cactus Print Tee- Curated Cotton, Vintage Skirt- Coronation Vintage, Rope Sandals c/o Corda.)

Recently, the Mr. and I drove to Los Angeles. We stopped at White Sands National Monument for a couple days. It has incredibly beautiful landscape, with soft white grainy sand (gypsum) dunes encompassing miles of acreage. Once inside the park, you meander for a bit, passing by vegetation and sand dunes, until your car leaves the pavement and enters the main section of the park (barely vegetation and mostly dunes). The roads are covered in white; emulating snow. Funky picnic areas dot various areas. We got to experience the Sands in time for sunset, as well as in the morning (when the photos were taken). The blue skies were lovely, yet the air was crisp, while also windy (which helped set the tone for perfect photos).

This trip proved the perfect opportunity to break out my Corda rope sandals that I won in a giveaway a short while ago. After working with an orphanage for an month in Ethiopia, the folks behind the Corda brand noticed that many of them would leave the program with no job opportunities. After brainstorming, they came up with the idea of creating a brand where they could help the transitioned adult orphans by giving them vital training and sustainable jobs. Each rope sandal is handmade in Ethiopia with eco-friendly and durable rope. They are also 100% Vegan. They are pretty lightweight and machine-washable. Since I was still breaking in the sandals, I did notice that the straps were somewhat stiff, but all they need is a little adjusting. I was assured that the straps stretch about a finger’s width. I’m confident that the more I wear them, the better they will feel.

I HIGHLY recommend a visit to White Sands. A great mom ‘n pop place to stay is the White Sands Motel!

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