"I love France and everything French, “hola!” (I kid, I kid). I am an introverted-extrovert (or an extroverted-introvert, whatever). Myers-Briggs says I’m INFJ and other times INFP. I love thrifting. I am a mom who loves to travel with my husband, my kids, my friends, and often times alone even. Music is my love language. I’m a modern day flaneur. I love expensive clothing and scoring them at really good prices. I dream super intensely every night (think “Inception”). My hair looks best when it’s cool and humid out. I feel everything, deeply. I am passionate in the best and the worst ways possible. I’m a terrible liar, and I hate cruises. I also wish I was really good at hip hop dance.
I do have a personal project I would love to see come to life within the next year or two. I was born in Romania as well as my husband of 14 years. Both of our families moved to America in 1984 and we’ve never been back. We have around 100 first cousins on each side back in Romania that neither of us have ever met. I keep thinking about how different life was for them growing up and I am so interested to hear their stories. I’d love to spend a few months in Romania with my husband and kids, and document it all." Then Photographer Caroline Ghetes @carolineghetes told me that her go to road trip snack is "Flaming Hot Cheetos & Mountain Dew (from the soda fountain, obvi)"... I made this face 😍. Like hearts actually came out of my eyes. So clearly it's difficult to sum it all up but what I enjoy most about Caroline's work is the human connection she is able to illustrate and create through her work. A glimpse into her home, her travels, the people in her life, basically, herself. She's honest and open, she's very very real. And while that's unfortunately becoming a bit of an anomaly- it's more than refreshing, it's really freeing.
Beautiful 📷 : @anna_ball
Sour Watermelon Candy & Dr.Pepper,
@carolineghetes here and I am so stoked, you guyz. I'll be taking over the @withthelocals Instagram account and sharing my personal favorite spots around Phoenix. Glad to be your host for the next week! Follow me here to keep up with my adventures about town!
I love hitting up the local consignment and thrift shops in Phoenix. One of my many personal favorites to consign at and buy from is @poorlittlerichgirlboutique. They've got two locations- one in Uptown and one in Arcadia. To me, what sets them apart from other stores is the minimalism in their clothing rack setup and decor (I hate clutter), so my eyes are very pleased upon walking in. Also, they do a darn good job curating what comes in. I can tell they put a lot of thought into what goes out on the floor. #localxPhoenix #outwithlocals ❤️ @carolineghetes
I love going to museums. The Phoenix Art Museum @phxart is one of my favorites; whether strolling through the grounds hand in hand with my bearded lover, or getting dressed up with the kids and learning about art as we explore the galleries together. Some day, I’d even love to go do it alone and allow my mind and heart to be inspired- undistracted.
Recently, Alin and I went with the kids on one of their “donation nights” (explained below). I am obsessed with fabric, design, and tailoring, so you can imagine how excited I was when I came upon their Fashion exhibit. Even the kids found it all very interesting, so that made my heart smile.
Admission is $15. However, if you go Wednesdays from 3pm-9pm, First Fridays from 6pm-10pm, or Second Sundays from 12pm-5pm, admission is FREE with the option to make a voluntary donation. -❤️ @carolineghetes
Obligatory Instagram pic where bearded guy looks on at epic scenery while wearing a backpack.
But seriously, go hike Squaw Peak if you haven't already. And like, soon, before it gets too hot. I'd start around 2 to 3 hours before sunset, which should give you enough time to get to the top, enjoy the beautiful views and lookout points, and make it back down before dark. -❤️ @carolineghetes
As I mentioned before, I love thrift shopping. I could spend hours at @zinniasatmelrose looking through their quirky knick-knacks, old records, and mid-century modern furniture & decor. You can also buy a box of mannequin heads if you so please. -❤️ @carolineghetes
The first thing I look for when I go to vintage shops is photographs. Usually they're collected from estate sales, and other random places. They're not "professional" photos and no one has claimed them as theirs. In fact, some of the pictures look straight up out of an Awkward Family Photos book. Being a photographer, tho, I find them so interesting. I'm highly curious about people and their stories, and these give me a small glimpse into the lives of "regular" folks like me- 30, 50, 70, 90 years ago. It breaks my heart that they were nearly thrown away and forgotten.
@pearlymaesresale is one of my go-to places for antique photos. They've also got an insane collection of vintage clothing and fancy hats, as well as mid century home decor and all sorts of nostalgic knick-knacks. On this day, my 6 year old Genevieve and I sat down on the floor at Pearly Mae's and for hours carefully looked through each of the hundreds, maybe even thousands, of photos. We bonded over conversations we had about the people we saw in the pictures, and together curated a collection of the ones we would keep.
A vintage shop isn't just a building with stuff. For me it's a place to go and be nostalgic with my friends; revisit our childhood and tell stories. It's a place that gives me a teaching opportunity for my kids; show them how things were done way back when, and visually remind them of how far we've come and how much we have now.
These shops inspire conversation, and rekindle old memories, & Phoenix is full of them. Pearly Mae's is in the Melrose District, on 7th Avenue (between Camelback & Indian School), where you'll also find a ton of other vintage stores right along that same strip. - ❤️ @carolineghetes
Yesterday I celebrated my birthday with my BFF at @hashkitchenaz and indulged in this gorgeous, beautiful, luscious Lump Crab + Sweet Potato Hash dish along with a melt-in-your-mouth, in-your-face, delicious Croque Madame sandwich. My mouth is literally watering right about now. I need to take a minute, brb. -❤️ @carolineghetes
If you've never been to a Copenhagen furniture shop, you are missing out. Beautiful displays of minimalist mid-century modern furniture adorns this lofty space. Even better is whether I'm alone, with my husband, or even with our four kids; we were always greeted and treated well, even if we walked out with nothing. I'm a huge fan of great customer service and really nice things. @copenhagenliving has it all, you guyz.
They've got three locations; Phoenix, Scottsdale, & Tempe. I personally love the Phoenix location. It's a little older, right in my neighborhood, & surrounded by midcentury-built homes- so it makes more sense for me, haha. -❤️ @carolineghetes
I recently discovered @be_coffeephx which shares a space with @themonorchid. It's a coffee shop + breakfast place + art gallery + event space all-in-one. Now, I'm not big on coffee or breakfast foods in general, but I had the Ham + Muenster Sammy and it was ridiculous good. Loved wandering around the space while we waited for our food. You can also check out all of the vibrant murals and art sculptures scattered about just outside Be's neighborhood! - ❤️ @carolineghetes
I wasn't sure how to photograph this place in a way that was aesthetically pleasing, so it may well be the ugliest image in this entire feed...but hear me out. It is a gold mine if you like nice things but don't wanna pay high prices. Last Chance is a clearance store with clothing and shoes that didn't sell, or were returned at Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack locations everywhere. You're probably thinking "so what"? Well...I've bought $450 Derek Lam jeans for $35, a gorgeous minimalist Akris dress for only $100 when at the time it retailed for $995 on Nordstrom's website, and tons of other insane deals. I get to feel like a queen with the budget of a peasant.
The store is located at 1919 E. Camelback Rd and opens at 10am. At 9:30am it is crowded with people waiting outside the security doors of the store. I've even seen people start lining up as early as 8:00am. And not just during the holidays. EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR. Basically it's Black Friday every day at Last Chance. (Not even exaggerating, I promise.)
Some tips for you amateurs. If you can, go with someone who's a seasoned Last Chance shopper. It sounds ridiculous but trust me, this shopping environment can be pretty stressful for you introverts & your friend will come equipped with ways to help you deal with your anxiety. Leave your kids at home. Set aside a few hours for shopping here. You'll want to take your time to go through every rack. For every 10 crappy items, you'll score something incredible in the midst of it. All bras, no matter how expensive their retail price, are $4 flat. All socks, no matter the retail price, are a flat $1. I've bought $140 bras for $4 & I've bought $90 Wolford tights for $1.
The stress of shopping here is well worth the deals you score when you come out. Just show up, put on some headphones, keep your head down and stay focused. Pretty much how I roll.
To make this shot inside Last Chance be as Instagram-friendly as possible, I had my BFF take a cliche shot of me wearing one of their bargain hats, holding the back of my head while staring out into the "epic" scenery of a thousand scarves in bins. -❤️ @carolineghetes