Tucson Gift Guide

The best presents from Southern Arizona businesses

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I attended Cultivate Tucson this past weekend, and once again the event succeeded at reminding me that this seemingly small, Southern Arizona city is flooded with talented, local artisans – and they sell really pretty stuff.

If you’re stumped on ideas for Christmas gifts, but like the idea of supporting Tucson makers, designers and businesses, check out this holiday gift guide I put together.

This includes presents for guys, gals, coworkers and in-laws. Oh, and if you’re related to me and reading this, act surprised on December 25th!

Businesses mentioned in this gift guide
Bandito Vintage Barrio Bread Bon Boutique Classic Rock Couture Eco Gro Exo Roast Co. Fine Life Co. Generation Cool HF Coors Mabel’s on 4th MAST Rosie’s Barkét Time Market Tiny Town Gallery Wooden Tooth Records

What I’d get for my husband

Toast Tongs, because I can’t tell you how many times he’s yelped while trying to wrangle walnut bread from our toaster | Mabel’s on 4th, $2.98

This shirt/map of Tucson, because the only thing he loves more than maps (very convenient in foreign countries!) is Tucson | Tiny Town Gallery, $15

What I’d get my older sister

Pasta Flour from Hayden Flour Mills | available at Time Market, $8.50

Perfect Pasta Timer | Mabel’s on 4th, $6.98
So she can continue to make my stomach grumble with the delicious-looking (and I’m sure tasting) meals she cooks and uploads to Instagram.

Pasta
Image via Mabel’s on 4th

Continue reading “Tucson Gift Guide”

Tucson

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I used to be such a Tucson hater; I’m rolling my eyes just thinking about it. Tucson was just fine until I got to Arizona State University, then it became the place that failed in comparison to Tempe: University Drive, the lesser Mill Avenue; the University of Arizona? You mean the inferior version of Arizona State University? So dumb.

I was soooo crazily grossed out by Tucson that I didn’t even consider applying for a job there until I had been unemployed for three months, sitting at my parents’ kitchen table, always in the same pair of yoga pants as I hadn’t showered in DAYYYSSS. It’s totally the reason I didn’t blog for so long. Just kidding! I’m actually super lazy.

Tucson, I’m sorry I thought so little of you. One day in late 2012, I searched LinkedIn for jobs (in TUCSON!! The agonyyy!!) that dealt with travel writing. I’ve been working at my company, where I write and edit for travel guides, ever since. It’s particularly great because my blog (this one! The one that you’re reading!) helped me to get a job. My boss read a couple entries and called me for an interview after I submitted an application! Awesome.

In my time here, I’ve come to love The Old Pueblo and hate the Tempe-obsessed, anti-Tucson person that I used to be. Every city has its strengths! I’m here to argue in favor of Tucson, in hopes of both turning around even the biggest doubters and convincing some folks to visit. I’ll start with food.

Stay tuned. Stay hungry.

Sierra Vista, Arizona

As previously referenced, I grew up on the border of Mexico. Although many have no idea where my hometown is, those who do are sometimes too quick to judge. I got so tired of defending my poor little town and I hated that it usually instantly changed people’s perception of me. So here I was, four years at Arizona State University, with a standard line for when people asked where I was from – a vague “southern Arizona…” and then a quick “…but my parents are from Boulder” to distract from any further questions, like a complete and total coward.

I guess it was payback or something that I ended up in another town that people usually dismissed as “uncool” or “not desirable to live in.” With graduation approaching and all hopes of finding a job ANYWHERE quashed, I interviewed for an internship with Wick Communications – A newspaper publisher with 32 newspapers and 23 specialty publications in 13 states. Most Wick newspapers are published in small towns, and The Sierra Vista Herald was generous enough to take an interest in me. “UGH, SIERRA VISTA?!” I said, my mouth hanging open far longer than necessary. Well, it was that or I could continue working as a hostess at a Tempe restaurant for the rest of my life, and by the rest of my life I mean August 1, when my lease was up. So here I am, three months later, a Sierra Vistan, until October 1, when my lease and internship are up and my life is chaos again (yipee). Continue reading “Sierra Vista, Arizona”