Leah LeMoine, Author at PHOENIX magazine

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Last week I wrote about creating your own happy hour spread at home with DIY snack plates and cocktails using the provisions you have on hand. This week, I’m highlighting where you can pick up cocktails – in their completed forms or in components to mix yourself at home – from local businesses to keep supporting them during this truly insane time. Plenty more places are offering these things, so find your favorite local restaurants and bars on social media to see their up-to-date...

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Finally have a little time to read? We have some recommendations for that – and they’re all books by local authors, so you can #readlocal while you #supportlocal. Many of these can be ordered online from local bookshops like Changing Hands, as e-books or online from major retailers or their publishers, so you can order and read them in the safety of your own home.  If You Like: Heartwarming Stories for Little Ones Try: The Silly Adventures of Petunia & Herman the Worm An unexpected...

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Good lord, what a week. I don’t know about you, but I need a drink.   Normally for this recurring blog, I’d visit a local restaurant during happy hour and report back to you with all of the details – the vibe, the discounted drinks, the most delicious dishes and any “insider secrets” I can scrounge up. This week, of course, nothing is normal. Some restaurants are closing – some for the time being, some potentially for good – while many more have transitioned...

THE SCENE You can see Agave del Scottsdale from the street at the corner of North Hayden Road and East Via de Ventura – it has a lovely patio looking out onto North Scottsdale – but once you turn into the labyrinthine Mercado on Hayden plaza, it can be challenging to locate. Tip: It’s between Village Coffee Roastery and Mail and Parcel Express, on the ground floor – don’t be distracted by the elevator. Inside,...

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Prepare for nostalgia: In January, Atari announced the launch of video game-themed Atari Hotels, a partnership with GSD Group, Woz Innovation Foundation and Phoenix-based True North Studio. The flagship (atarihotels.com) will break ground in Phoenix this year. Reps were mum on details, so we let our imaginations run wild with our wish list. Asteroids Suite No lights in this space-ious hotel room – just the glow-in-the-dark asteroids and saucers. Brutalist room design mimics the game’s...

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Crave pour-over coffee but not ready to take the Chemex plunge? Goodyear entrepreneur Ruben Trujillo sells sachets of freshly roasted and ground coffee that you drape over your mug and pour hot water over. Origami-like prongs keep the vessels in place, and minutes later, you have a hot cup of “hand-drip” coffee. Five packets for $10, 10-count bags start at $12. cafeemporos.com

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An unexpected friendship leads to thrilling exploits for a little girl and a tomato worm in The Silly Adventures of Petunia & Herman the Worm ($17.95, Book Baby LLC). The book evolved from a bedtime story author Sam Baker made up for his now-adult children when they were young. Children’s book authorship is Scottsdale nonagenarian Baker’s fifth career. Previously, the Mississippi native was an engineer, served in the United States Marine Corps, was an ensign...

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Timing might be everything, but it’s imperfect – like when you’ve sold your old house, but your new one isn’t ready. Gilbert real estate pro Nick Calvi found himself in this “in-between” pickle and launched a tech service, Tweener Homes, to connect renters with furnished temporary homes. Leases range from one to 11 months. Inquire for pricing.

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You’ve heard of French maids, but have you heard of kilted cleaners? Phoenix entrepreneur Alain Monroy is opening the first Arizona franchise of Canada-spawned Men in Kilts, a troupe of tartan-clad lads (and lasses) who clean windows, gutters and houses. Squeegees and power washers replace bagpipes and polearms for these Scot-inspired technicians. Do they really wear kilts while they work? You bet your bahoochie.

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Scrambling to find a last-minute gift card? Skip the grocery store display and secure one digitally with Gift3r App, a cloud-based application that allows users to give and receive e-gift cards to local businesses, sans paper and plastic waste. The brainchild of Phoenix restaurateur Anastasios Tirkas is available for consumers and businesses. gift3rapp.com 

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This month, head south and look up. Kitt Peak Observatory – located on the Tohono O’Odham Nation 56 miles southwest of Tucson – is the perfect perch to take in astronomy events this year, starting with a series of supermoons that begins in February. Daytime activities include telescope tours and a visit to the “solar time machine,” a device that helps measure the sun’s position. For true star treatment, take advantage of nocturnal offerings like...

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Like many environmentally aware Americans, you’ve resolved to use less plastic this year. You bought reusable straws to tote around, but letting them mingle with lint and old tissues in your purse is hardly sanitary. Enter EXstraw, a biodegradable rubber case that is durable and dishwasher-safe. Scottsdale public relations professional Jamie Faye Killin created the product in 2018 and was recently featured on Arizona’s Family. EXstraw is available in seven colors and starts at $5...

For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.