Mesa Arizona City Guide

Mesa Arizona City Guide

Mesa Arizona City Guide

Arizona is one of those states that you can visit several times and still not see everything. This is probably why I continue to return year after year. That and my parents are snowbirds so it’s one of the only ways to spend time with them. I digress. Mesa is a rad town nestled between Phoenix and the Usery Mountain Regional Park. It’s the largest populated suburb in all of the US and it’s the third largest city in Arizona. All those fun facts aside, I present the Mesa Arizona City Guide! This is one of those posts that will continue to be updated as I discover more. 


The Fresh Foodie Trail

Agritourism is easily the best way to experience cuisine within a region and Mesa has this sector on lockdown. The freshest food right from the source is exactly what the Fresh Foodie Trail is all about. 

Queen Creek Olive Mill

The Queen Creek Olive Mill was where I found out how magical olive oil can truly be. Who knew olive trees could even grow in Arizona!? I’m embarrassed to say I’ve visited the area several times and just found out. I digress. The tour opened my eyes to the meticulous and delicate process of creating award winning olive oil. This was one gift shop I was truly excited to exit through. Did I mention they also serve food and prickly pear lemonade? 

Schnepf Farm

We were fully immersed in the trail when we stayed at the Schnepf Farm at the Cozy Peach (more on that later). We dined adjacent to a field, just down the road from where their peach trees were just beginning to bloom. 


Agritopia is the utopia of agriculture communities. It seamlessly mixes residential with farming right in the heart of Mesa! It also happens to be the home of the original stand-up mixer!? They also house a plethora of dining establishments. Pick from the Joe’s Farm GrillThe Coffee Shop, The Uprooted Kitchen (all plant-based and seasonal!) Garage-East wine bar, and 12 West Brewing. There is surely something to please every person in your party.

The Orange Patch

Our final stop on the Fresh Foodie Trail was The Orange Patch – a citrus dream in the form of a classic wooden roadside fruit shop. First of all: ⚠️!CUTE PHOTO ALERT! ⚠️This place is adorable. I could have spent the afternoon relaxing beneath the citrus trees. It smelled delightful. In addition to its cuteness, the orange juice made my eyes roll to the back of my head it was so good. 


The Cozy Peach at the Schenpf Farm

Whenever I think of “glamping” it will forever be synonymous with sixties camping trailers. What a treat it is to roll up to such a picture perfect scene: the sun setting on glistening Airstream trailers. And if that wasn’t dreamy enough, the warm cookie waiting instead our aluminum suite was enough to send me straight into a coma.


Mesa Farmers Market & Flea

This is one stop you won’t want to miss. The Mesa Farmers Market & Flea happens every Saturday from 8am-1pm in Pioneer Park on the Main Street. It’s a perfect mix of food and fashion. My personal favourite was Cote and Co, a shop within a gutted school bus cutely named Birdy. IT WAS SO COOL. 


Another lovely corner of Agritopia is Barnone, a retail space for local makers. My personal favourites were the Prickly Pear Paper shop – little pleases me more than cute stationery, and the vintage photobooth. I did not hesitate to jump in that booth and capture some shots to remember the day. In addition to that, in Johnston Machine Co. there was a machinist working away on metal while we looked on behind the safety of a glass wall. It was mesmerizing. 


The Dolly Steamboat 

Step back in time and take a cruise around Canyon Lake on the most adorable tug there ever was, The Dolly Steamboat! It’s a great opportunity to sit back and watch the stunning rock formations of the Tonto National Forest. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some critters along the way. 

Goldfield Ghost Town / Superstition Mountains 

What’s a trip to Arizona without a high noon shootout? Did you even visit Arizona if you didn’t see a Ghost Town? The answer is no. Goldfield Ghost Town is one of the first stops on the Apache Trail and it boasts one of the most magnificent views of the Superstition Mountains. Not to mention, the various curios one finds in an old-timey western town – a mystery shack, gold panning, a reptile exhibit, mine tours, and so much more (including the off-themed zipline). 

The Apache Trail

While you’re cruising to the Goldfield Ghost Town and Dolly Steamboat, you’re already on your way up The Apache Trail. Might as well go all the way to Tortilla Flats and put a dollar on the wall of the restaurant by the same name. In fact, best to check out the washrooms in this joint too, there’s a photo opportunity not to be missed so bring a friend. 

Goat Yoga

Now hear me out, Goat Yoga something that everyone should do at least once. There’s something enjoyable and hilarious about having goats jumping around while trying to do yoga poses. Plus they are cute as heck. They even had a couple of stoic alpaca friends hanging out at the center of the yoga circle. My only advice is to wear a t shirt vs a tank and leave the shoes on. These are live animals and they do go to the washroom whenever nature calls. 

Neon Signs of Gilbert

My love of neon will never die. Thank goodness for places like Arizona who appreciate it as much as I do! Be sure to head down to Gilbert Road to check out there dining district and spectacular specimens of neon. It’s a feast for your eyes….and well, mouth too. There are several dining options to choose from.

Mesa Arizona City Guide

I will continue to update my Mesa Arizona City Guide post and the Google Map as I continue to discover more with every visit. I’m always open to new recommendations so please leave those in the comments below! And for more travel content check out my On The Road section.

xo SJ

Photographs – Jesse Sand + Sandy Joe Karpetz

Many thanks to Flair Air & Visit Mesa for arranging this amazing trip!

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Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette

Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette

Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette

Grace be unto you, Urban Decay has launched a new nude palette to replace my beloved NAKED OG. I am counting my lucky stars that it arrived at my door as a complete surprise last week. Of course I couldn’t wait to “dip into it” as the beauty guru’s so like to say. And dip I did do. My first dip I even made a YouTube video of it which you are more than welcome to watch. 🙂 Or continue scrolling for my more in depth review of the Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette. As well as all the other products I used to achieve this lewk. Happy Neutrals to you! 🥰


While I was rather taken aback when I found out the NAKED OG palette was discontinued, I made peace with it. Mostly because I had an unopened palette that I purchased at a Sephora VIB sale. It was a “just-in-case” purchase but clearly I am clairvoyant. I anticipated this move by Urban Decay. JK I’m just a makeup hoarder and I’m trying to justify my collection. ANYWAY. The NAKED OG was revolutionary when it was released in 2010. I discovered it thanks to Rumi Neely when her blog Fashion Toast was at its peak. It made me develop a deep love for neutrals when previously I had despised them. Love and hate is truly a fine line.


My most recent Urban Decay review was of their most recent NAKED launch, the much buzzed about Naked Cherry. For those interested, head on over to my Urban Decay Naked Cherry Easy Tutorial. Or keep scrolling for more Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette goodness.

Locked and Reloaded

During my test out/try on, I ended up using quite a few of the shades. This included: Bribe, Barely Baked, Angel Fire, Retro, Reputation, Burn, End Game, Bucked, and Blur. Basically the whole palette short three shades. That’s pretty impressive! In my experience, the ability to use so many shades in one look isn’t a regular occurance. For whatever reason, the Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette has conjured up the right formula for eyeshadow alchemy. I am here for it. I am wearing it. And I cannot wait to continue to delve deep into this palette and create more looks… most likely ones that are on the lighter side.

Still drooling over this blush and highlighter combo 


Here’s a quick list on the products I used on my face:

*GLOSSIER Priming Moisturizer
*MAC COSMETICS Prep + Prime Fix+ (Did you know you can buy MAC at Sephora now?!)
*IT COSMETICS Your Skin But Better CC+ Oil Free Matte in Light Medium
*NARS Lasting Radiant Creamy Concealer in Affogato
*STILA Heaven’s Hue Highlighter in Kitten
*TARTE Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Blissful

*In case you’re ever wondering, this is my unedited skin*


All of the things I used on my eyeballlzzzzzz

*KISS Looks So Natural Eyelashes in Shy
*MAC COSMETICS Paint Pot in Painterly 
*BENEFIT BADgal Lash Mascara in Rich Black
HOURGLASS Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Soft Brunette (I live for this eyebrow pencil and have bought it for years!)
*TARTE Lashy and Flashy Eyelash Curler
*URBAN DECAY Naked Reloaded Palette
*CHARLOTTE TILBURY Rock ‘N’ Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Eye Cheat
*CHARLOTTE TILBURY The Classic Eye Powder Pencil in Audrey


Here is the extensive list of products I used on my lips 😉


*NUDE BY NATURE Moisture Shine Lipstick in Pale Coral
*TOO FACED Rich and Dazzling High-Shine Sparkling Lip Gloss in Sunset Crush (Limited Edition!)

Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette

Thanks so much for joining me while I dipped a toe into this new palette. For more beauty and travel videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel here. I would very much appreciate it as I’m s l o w l y growing my little channel. Also, I would love to know what you think about the new Naked Reloaded palette. Will you get it? Have you tried it? Do you miss the OG palette? Leave a comment below! 

Until next time….. Toodles! xo SJ

Photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz

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As always anything marked with a * indicates product I have been gifted but are under no obligation to post about. 




Canada is currently in a polar vortex. My latest fashion icon is the Michelin Man; it’s all about the layers. Since I’ve decided to avoid the reality outside my window, all I can bring myself to share on this space is memories from warmer times. Here’s my Arizona Travel Diary from my trip last winter. Hopefully this will keep us all warm until the weather passes and becomes a bit more humane. I also created a list and video about some of the weird places I love in Arizona. You can check that out here: Weird Arizona – 5 Strange Places to Visit on a Trip to the Arizona Desert.

xo Sandy Joe

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A Double Denim Day

A Double Denim Day

A Double Denim Day

More often than not I find myself in denim. It’s truly my everyday staple especially in the colder months. Wearing denim is an easy option that I don’t have to think too hard about. It’s all very standard. But what’s better than one piece of denim? Double denim of course. And thus a double denim day began…


BAILEY’S OF HOLLYWOOD Renegade Hat – c/o
VINTAGE Vest – Hideout Distro 
LULULEMON Rest Less Pullover – c/o
LEVIS Vintage Jean Jacket – thrifted
LEVIS Vintage Denim Jeans – thrifted
ALDO Drerissa Ankle Boots – c/o


Whenever I double down with a double denim day, I like to add layers to the look. By adding a vest overtop the jean jacket, it breaks up the denim. Another way to layer is to add a second coat on top of the jean jacket; this tip is more useful in the winter months though. Layering is just an option though, going full throttle denim is a rad look all on its own anyway. Take for instance this look: The Blues Are Still Blue. Blue hair, blue jeans, & a blue jean jacket. It’s not overkill, it’s style. 😉


Lastly, I’d like to take a moment to mention that I’ve been selling some of my vintage pieces in store at Hideout Distro. The vest I’m wearing in these shots are one of the few pieces I have dropped off there. If you haven’t been, I highly suggest popping by their new location on 124th st in Edmonton. It’s just down from Duchess bakery, so get a croissant and go browse a shop full of local artists, dreamy home decor, and curated vintage. 

photographs – Jesse Sand

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Full Face of Drugstore Makeup

Full Face of Drugstore Makeup

Full Face of Drugstore Makeup 

The lore of good drugstore makeup has been information I have slowly pieced together over the years. I’ve taken product recommendations by word of mouth. My countless attempts at duping higher end items for less over the years. It has been an epic trial and error that comes with many wins but also colossal missteps. Today, I have decided to share one of my testing sessions on new to me drugstore makeup in a beauty tutorial: Full Face of Drugstore Makeup. Join me while I find a few new favourites and duds I wouldn’t bother using again. 


I first decided to create this video when I received the L’Oreal Paradise Enchanted Collection. I was a little bit hesitant. The eyeshadow palette and blushes are all peach scented. Though I’m not completely sold on the smell, I did find the eyeshadow from the Paradise Enchanted palette to be very blendable and easy to work with. The palette is by no means ground breaking, but it definitely has a place amongst the workable everyday nudey browns palettes. I especially liked how it worked with the Lise Watier Metamorphix – one of my favourite products to make any powder eyeshadow into a cream/liquid. 


I was absolutely blown away by the quality of drugstore eyeliners these days. It came as such a surprise to me, I’m embarrassed to say. The Super Slim liquid liner especially has the perfect tip for making a precise cateye. There is even a grip that helps with the application. 

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Full Face of Drugstore Makeup

Revisiting the some of the brands that I began my makeup journey with has been both parts nostalgic and fun. There are so many more options available than there was when I was a teenager, it is staggering. With such an abundance of choice I can see how going to the drugstore to pick out something as simple as eyeliner could become overwhelming. I’m so grateful for communities on YouTube that have helped make me a more informed consumer as well as entertained me for hours and hoursssss. If you enjoyed this video and post, head on over and subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more posts like this Full Face of Drugstore Makeup.