Wednesday, December 21

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Spike,  a baby African Crested Porcupine visits GMAZ Spike, a baby African Crested Porcupine visits GMAZ

The Wildlife World Zoo: African Crested Porcupine

African Crested Porcupine Facts:

  • Largest rodent in Africa, 2nd largest in the world
  • A common misconception is they can shoot their quills. They do have to make contact before they can release them.
  • Their quills are covered in bacteria because they are a ground dwelling rodent.
  • Their quills are 1 inch - 13 inches’ long
  • Their teeth continually grow so they have to chew on hard things like bark, roots and bones to keep their teeth from growing too long.
  • They have a strong sense of smell and hearing
  • They are nocturnal and spend most of their time under ground during the day
  • When they feel threatened they will grunt, stomp and back into a predator.
  • Baby porcupines are called porcupettes
  • There are typically 1-4 porcupettes born at a time
  • Adults are 20lbs-60lbs and live for 20 years.

The Wildlife World Zoo is located at 16501 W. Northern Ave. in Litchfield Park.
For more information on all the zoo's exciting attractions and events, call 623-935-WILD or check out their website  

31st Annual W. Steven Martin 911 Toy Drive Toy Giveaway Day 

W. Steven Martin, a local CMA Award-winning radio broadcaster, launched the 911 Toy Drive more than three decades ago in an attempt to help police officers interact with kids in a positive manner. 31 years and more than 4 million toys later, the effort shows no signs of slowing.

Each officer adopts two families and works with a 911 Toy Drive volunteer to select suitable gifts for each child in the families. The officers then deliver the toys personally, allowing the children to recognize the officers as friends and positive role models.

The 911 Toy Drive also offers critical incident assistance if officers or firefighters encounter a significant situation on Christmas Eve.

To learn more about this giveaway please visit:

Local Love: Frances Boutique

Frances boutique has been a favorite for shopping in Central Phoenix for 10 years.  A modern boutique with vintage charm it has been voted "best boutique" by Phoenix New Times for 10 years.  Georganne Bryant curates a unique blend of local artists and items she has found around the world.  Frances is located in the heart of Phoenix at Central and Camelback.

For more information, visit:

Frances Boutique
10 West Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013

Peppermint pancakes and all things red & white

Nearly 2 billion candy canes are sold during Christmas and Hanukkah. But who wants to eat the peppermint flavored treats the old fashioned way? We hang out with Chef Mark from Luci's Healthy Marketplace and The Orchard to learn different ways to incorporate peppermint in our dishes.

Luci's Healthy Marketplace is a unique café that boasts a full menu, coffees and drinks. People can shop for healthy items to make nutritious meals in the marketplace. Located on the corner of Bethany and 16th Street, this neighborhood spot is a staple in central Phoenix. 

For more information: 

The Orchard----inside the kitchen at Luci's at the Orchard
7100 N. 12th Street, Phoenix, 85020
12th Street & Glendale Ave. 
(602) 773-1339

New Valley restaurant satisfies "little cravings" & redefines tacos 

We check out the new CRU Tacos! It's a modern taqueria in Arcadia, which opened in early Nov. Executive Chef Rich Hinojosa is redefining tacos, offering a Latin-inspired menu and featuring “antijitos," which means "little cravings," sharable foods from soups to guacamole.

Hours of CRUjiente Tacos are 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Friday, and 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturday, and closed on Sunday. 
Happy hour is served daily from 3 to 6 p.m. at CRU Tacos guests can dine-in for deals on drinks and a selection of tacos and antojitos.

For more information, visit:

CRUjiente Tacos
3961 E. Camelback Road Phoenix, Arizona
Cross Streets: 40th Street & Camelback Road
602) 687-7777

End of the year finance tips

Nancy Tengler, Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer for Arizona Bank & Trust, is here to help us tidy up our finances, putting our "life in a box" with a free, secure service entitled Savvy Financial Planning.  

Accounts: All of your account on one page, bank accounts for checking, savings, your insurance policies

Spending:  monitor cash flow and make sure you are staying on budget

Investments:  asset allocation and holdings; as the market changes, your balance is recalculated to keep you up to date

Digital Vault:  your Will, birth certificate and tax return, deeds, passports 

Transactions:  you can see all of your transactions in one place ((specify examples of transactions))

There are also Interactive workshops show how your investments and spending decisions today can impact your lifetime cash flow, your retirement and your estate scenarios or legacy.

This service is free and available at

Arizona Bank & Trust
Camelback Banking Center 
2036 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 381-2090

Last minute & LOCAL stocking stuffers!

Forget about your stocking stuffers? Local lifestyle expert Robyn Moore shows us how to stuff those stockings with local products!

Last minute local stocking stuffers:

Olive oils, candles, chocolate from Queen Creek Olive Mill: 

Sweet treats, salsa, hot sauce, other local products at Sphinx Date Ranch 

Cool water bottles that give back from Not Vodka Water 

Lanyards, luggage tags, wine charms from Pomchies 

Soap club membership/soaps at Strawberry Hedgehog 

Arizona fashion from State Forty-Eight 

Gift of transportation! Gift cards from Uber 

Healthier cocktails for the holidays

Dr. Kori Feldman shows us how to use apple cider vinegar, green tea and cold brew coffee in healthier versions of popular cocktails. 

1) Hot Spiked Apple Cider Vinegar Cider
4 cups of apple cider
2 tbsp. Bragg's apple cider vinegar (ACV)
2 tbsp. maple syrup
Half a large orange, sliced crosswise
1 tsp cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup dark rum

2) Coldbrew-Tini
1.5 oz. of premium vodka
2 oz. of cold brew coffee
2 oz. of coconut milk
Optional (natural sweetener to taste)

3) Green Hot Toddy
1.5 oz. of spiced rum (or your favorite whiskey or bourbon)
1 tsp raw honey
1 tsp lemon juice
4 oz. of hot organic green tea (*use iced tea for a cold version)

For more information, visit: