Okay folks–an affordable, clean, non-sweat-shop, mama-owned nail salon!!!!

August 24th, 2015 · 1 Comment

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been freaked out about getting a pedicure after reading articles about flesh eating bacteria and truly horrid living conditions of the “employees” (who are indentured servants in many cases–the reason those places are so cheap is that the people doing the work don’t get paid…)

Yet I can’t afford to go to the more chi-chi spa places ($60 for a pedicure? I do love them, and lord knows that my toes look like crap when I don’t get a pedi now and then, but I can’t justify the cost.)

So a big YAY for the very perfect place to get a mani, pedi, even a facial or massage:

Nails to Go Go.

The name comes from one portion of their business, which is mobile mani-pedi–if enough of your friends are up for it, Nails to Go Go comes to you with all their goodies and the cost is about the same if you have enough people.

I go to the salon, though, because it’s convenient–midtown, easy parking–and so dang fun.

What I love most about this place is that it’s mama-owned. Monique is a great business owner, a mama, and she treats her employees so well. It feels much more like a team than a “shop”. Monique’s doing pedis along with Melissa, Lucy, and the others, and everyone seems to be having a fine time of it. There is NO turnover in staff which is a strong indicator of a great salon.

They use metal bowls, not those plastic spa bins or whirlpools (which feel nice, but are impossible to sanitize properly), so you don’t have to worry about scary bacteria. It’s super, super clean.

And no one is forced to sleep in the back rooms at night. It’s a very humane and happy place. They have photos of their kids on the wall, and they support one another.

Oh, and they’ll do kids’ nails for HALF OFF. I take my kids with me (yup, the boy-kid too) sometimes and they are SO sweet to them–they put extra pillows on the chair so they fit better. For the World Cup, Linc got the Argentinian flag on his toes–it was quite a work of art. They’re always up for trying something new and fun.

It’s also incredibly affordable.

I got a gel pedicure mid-July before our summer vacation and my toes still look nice!

You can always book their “very cherry mani-pedi” on their website–you can select the Groupon options to get half-off without buying a Groupon (please do this instead of buying the Groupon, so that the shop gets to keep as much of their income as possible)–this is available to TucsonMama readers.

If you don’t want to use the 24/7 online booking, just call 795-1099.

Or check this sweet deal through the rest of this week:
Nails 2 GoGo
4500 East Speedway Blvd #88
Tucson, Arizona 85712

Limited Time Offer
40% off
Valid From: Aug 26,2015 – Aug 28,2015
For this week only when you book on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday receive 40% off any single service. Some of our best sellers with the 40% off; Gel Manicure for $21 Gel Pedicure for $27 Deluxe Manicure for $18 Deluxe Pedicure for $33 Deluxe Facial for $33 Act now space is limited
Fine Print
Offer good thru August 26-28, 2015 on any one service Cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions Not valid with already scheduled appointments

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Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market!

July 12th, 2015 · Comments Off on Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market!

It’s almost open!

Tomorrow, Monday, July 13, is a soft opening for Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market. And before long–I don’t know that there’s an official date-this local market’s going to be ready for us.

We caught a glimpse of this fabulous store last night at a soft-soft opening, more of an informal and unplanned preview. It was 2nd Saturday downtown as well, so the neighborhood was packed.

From what we know, the store will be open daily until midnight. And it has bike delivery! And a seafood and meat counter! A deli! And lots of locally sourced items! And a salad bar! And beer on tap! (Plus one of my fave Bavarian hefe weizens in bottles…)A big plaza/courtyard for eating!

Also, some great blown up photos of the muscle man himself (and a very cool 3-D rendition of Johnny on the east side of the store’s patio).

What does the market stock, in terms of groceries? We saw lots of great basics–baking ingredients (every time I attempt to bake–which is rare–I’m missing something–baking soda, flour, something!), milk, juice, yogurt, pasta, broth, etc. Whatever you realize you are out of, Gibson’s probably has it. Kosher wine? Anchovies? Yep.

For us downtown folks who feel the loss of the 17th Street Market when we really need a lemon or head of lettuce, this is a major bonus. No more car trips to Safeway or Food City just to pick up a single ingredient!

I can imagine that Johnny Gibson’s is going to be a weekly stop on our commute (whether via bike, car, feet, or streetcar) from the University to our downtown home.

Tucson, you are making lots of people very happy!

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Read this amazing little essay from one of my favorite Tucson Mamas

June 26th, 2015 · Comments Off on Read this amazing little essay from one of my favorite Tucson Mamas

Amazing Grace
Kate Sarther Gann

Precision Toyota of Tucson, Friday, June 26, 2015. It’s the first service on Olaf, my beloved little Prius C.

The lounge I enter has three people in it, plenty of seats between them. After I sit down, I catalog them: 50-something woman in Birkenstocks and a “Grandma” t-shirt; bespectacled 50-something man with grey mullet and Columbia hiking clothes, armed in holsters at both shoulders; and an elegantly dressed businessman my age, working on a tablet, with a Chicago Bears water bottle.

On the flatscreen, tuned to CNN, the President begins his eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney.

A man in his 70s takes the seat nearest the entrance, resting his cane between his legs. He has a striking rectangular religious medallion hanging outside of his shirt. He realizes what is on TV. He shakes his head, flings out his arm in a universal gesture of dismissal and disgust, and leans back in his seat, eyes closed.

Guns, Grandma, and I watch the President. Business does business.

President Obama begins speaking about grace. He begins reciting the lyrics to “Amazing Grace.”

Grandma hisses, and fairly shouts, “I can’t believe he DARED! I can’t believe The Lord didn’t STRIKE HIM DOWN RIGHT THERE.”

Cane smirks. Business says, “I know! After THIS MORNING’s OFFENSE …” Grandma and Business begin talking. They are Christians and the marriage ruling is wrong—a plot, in fact. The President is a two-faced liar and not really even President. He certainly isn’t a Christian, and this is all just a spectacle. They talk about books they’ve both read by Christian authors that biblically expound upon what an evil man Obama is.

Guns gets up, juts his chin at the screen, and says to me in a voice that carries, “I wonder how much THIS is costing us,” and leaves the room. Business and Grandma nod to him as he exits.

The eulogy continues.

A Hispanic woman in her 30s with two young children enters. They sit together quietly, as if they have just had bad news about their car. A service rep comes in to see them shortly after, saying, “It won’t be too long.” He glances at the screen and leaves.

Another service rep, a man of color, comes in for Cane. Cane stops him before he can get more than a few words out. “This is a waiting room. You people have a lot of nerve having GARBAGE LIKE THIS—“ cane jousting at the screen “—and I am NOT the only one who feels that way. Turn it to a local station.” Grandma and Business voice their assent as Cane leaves.

I say—and I don’t think I am saying it aloud until they react to me—“He is the President of the United States.” Grandma hisses again. Business snorts. They return to their earlier conversation.

Mom looks over at me, eyebrows raised. She turns to watch the screen.

Every once in awhile, out of the corner of my eye, I see her nodding at the screen and smiling.

Suddenly, the President begins to sing. I’m not surprised; it seemed like he would have to, once he took up that theme, and given the venue. Grandma bolts up and yells at the screen, “SIT DOWN! Stop!”

I don’t know what is happening to me, but I look at her, hold up my arm in the stop/slow down gesture, and say in a voice I usually save for telling my kid to behave, “I have to disagree…but respectfully.”

Grandma sits, clearly fuming.

The eulogy ends.

Mom gets up, goes to the refreshment counter and says to the attendant, “I was so wrapped up in that great speech, I didn’t realize how hungry I was.” She sets down the book she had been reading when she first sat down and I realize it is her personal Bible (the silk page markers, the highlighter, the usual signs are there). She brings pastries over to her kids and returns for the book.

Grandma leaves.

My whole life, I have never liked that song. Never, never. I didn’t hear it much growing up in the Catholic Church, but it’s fairly ubiquitous in the U.S. My mom loves it—many people I know do—and it was sung at my brother’s funeral. For whatever reason, it isn’t about the words, which I’ve never found compelling, but some kind of association in my mind with particular kinds of self-righteous Christians. Even though I am not a Christian, there are many in my life whom I respect, and they do not bear that particular brand of self-righteousness.

Amazing Grace, right there in the Precision Toyota customer lounge. It took the words and actions of some hateful people who felt they owned Grace, a woman with a dog-eared Bible, and the off-key singing of a President in an incredible place, surrounded by people of substance, speaking powerful truths about what many teachers, including the one named Jesus, have been telling us since the beginning of time—we have to do better toward one another—to forever change my mind about that song.

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