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Life

Happy Halloween

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I dressed up this year as Rosie the Riveter to celebrate a friend’s birthday on Saturday night. It was an affordable DIY costume that mostly used stuff I already owned. When I started googling some info on putting the look together, I came across that picture of Beyonce. Doesn’t she look amazing!

Here’s what I used to make it possible:

  • Chambray Shirt
  • Dark Wash Jeans
  • Red Bandana
  • I wore some bright red Keds, but lace-up boots would work well too.

I found this great hairstyle tutorial, and I kept my eye makeup minimal, but chose a bright red lip. I’m happy with how it turned out. I hope you have a wonderful Halloween!

Life

Flea Market Regrets

I’m not the kind of person who dwells on regrets. I believe life is a lesson, and it’s only a mistake if you don’t learn from it.

So the Flea Market Regret of 2016 is this:

If something catches your eye from across the lot and you feel a gravitational pull to walk over to it, BUY IT!

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I think what originally attracted me to this piece were the square brass handles. I had no idea what this was until I opened the drawers. The left drawer was a pull out busted record player. The right side was a tuner. The bottom of the piece had slats to hold records, and a speaker that needed repairing. This was a Flea Market Flip if there ever was one. At $40, it was a steal. But I made a grave mistake. My husband accompanied me to the flea market. He was the first to tell me “you’re crazy, this will sit in our garage and collect dust because we have no clue how to restore this to its former glory.”

I’m still thinking about this piece to this day. How beautiful it would be if it were restored, and how the top of it would look oh so cute holding a table lamp and a tray full of whiskeys and old fashioned glasses.

You win some, you lose some. Passing on this piece up was definitely a lose some moment. I hope it found a lovely home, full of people who can turn this little number back into what it has the potential to be.

Life

Our First Place

Well, it finally happened. We bought our first house.

We fell in love with this three bedroom home on our second day of house hunting back in March. The house was built in the sixties and has some really great mid-century details. It’s been gutted and re-done from top to bottom. Dylan always wanted to buy a turnkey property. I wanted a fixer upper. We compromised and put an offer on this place.

We really like the neighborhood and location. We are a 15 minute bike ride from White Rock Lake and the Arboretum, and about 5 miles from Downtown Dallas.

I’m already dreaming of ways to decorate the space. I love the details in the great room, with the open galley kitchen, wood beams, fireplace and french doors to the backyard. We are shocked that we got everything we wanted in our price range. We always hear how that never happens.

Next week I’m meeting with a designer for a consultation. I can’t wait to make this home our own.

Here’s a peek of the new abode:

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Life

Jackson Pollock Exhibit at DMA

DSC_0062A few weeks ago we checked out the Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. This is the third exhibition the artist has had in the United States, and it’s being hailed as a once-in-a-lifetime viewing of his work.

I had heard of Jackson Pollock as an artist, but I ashamedly didn’t know much about his work, until I saw this exhibit. While traveling, we generously dot our itinerary visiting museums and monuments, but we rarely visit them here in the states. After seeing this exhibit, I imagine that will change for us.

I really fell in love with the art museums in Europe, and it was seeing Pablo Picasso’s Guernica painting at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain, that created a monumental shift in my life toward art appreciation. A piece of that magnitude and scale really spoke to me. Guernica is one of the most moving and powerful anti-war paintings I’ve ever laid eyes on. Seeing it in person profoundly changed how I view art.

I loved this exhibit, seeing the work and being able to photograph them was a highlight for me. Now that I paint as a hobby, I love seeing other people’s work up close. The brushstrokes, the use of paint, the different techniques used I find endlessly fascinating.

Here are some photographic highlights of the exhibition, which is viewable at the Dallas Museum of Art until Saturday, March 20, 2016. If you have the time, make it a priority to see it before it goes away forever.

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Life Travel

Klyde Warren Park

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One of my favorite things about Texas is the warm weather days we receive during the winter months. After living in Oregon for so long, I forgot what a warm winter day felt like. Summers here are the most miserable, as it’s so hot you feel like you live on the edge of the sun, but the rest of the months are lovely by comparison. I’m still surprised how well I’ve acclimated to summer Texas weather.

Winter has been so mild this year, so when I had a day off a couple of weeks ago we ventured downtown to spend some time outdoors, and to see the Jackson Pollock exhibit.

One of my favorite urban spaces in Dallas to take advantage of a sunny day is Klyde Warren Park. It’s a five acre urban deck park located right on top of the Woodall Rodgers Freeway in downtown Dallas. Directly across the street from the Dallas Museum of Art, it was the perfect place to stroll.

The park is the perfect urban landscape. It offers plenty of green space, but also has architectural details that make it feel modern and chic. It’s a green space that plenty of Dallas natives take advantage of on sunny winter days, and it offers great views of the city at every turn.

The park is home to a permanent restaurant, Savor, and food trucks line the street every weekday during lunch, making it a perfect destination for the nearby businesses. If I worked downtown during the day I would be here often.
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Klyde Warren Park
2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway
Dallas, TX 75201

Life

Class Pass Dallas

ClassPass-DallasFW-1024x1024I made two resolutions this year, one is to travel more, and the other is to strike a work life balance and take better care of myself.

I’ve been wanting to get back into an exercise routine for a few months now. I’m fortunate to have an active job, which keeps me on my feet and moving around quite a bit, but I’ve been feeling the effects of it lately; my hips and legs are tight and sore and my feet have been aching. I’m not a treadmill person, so when I join a gym it’s really to take advantage of their group exercise schedule.

I did some research this week checking out various gyms and their schedules, and the one thing I noticed is that most gyms don’t have enough of a variety of classes to keep me engaged. Then I discovered Class Pass, downloaded their app and gave it a shot.

Class Pass is a new type of gym membership where you pay a monthly fee, and you are granted access to hundreds of group exercise classes at studios all over the city. The class schedule is packed and diverse, with options ranging from yoga, barre, city surf, cycling, and kickboxing.

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 11.46.34 AMYou can sign up, download the app, browse the schedule, and reserve your spot for a workout that fits your schedule. This is especially ideal for me since my schedule changes from week-to-week. There’s no commitment and you can cancel the membership anytime.

Yesterday I took a Deep Stretch yoga class at a studio in Highland Park, and it was exactly what my hips needed. The studio had all my information in their system, and all I had to do was check in with the front desk. Later this week I plan to try a Barre and Yoga class to keep me stretching and toning. I plan to incorporate some more rigorous cardio classes in the coming weeks.

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.53.38 PMThere are some drawbacks to the system. The first one being the price. It’s steep, at $95 a month for the Dallas metro area. I’ve heard it’s higher in New York and Los Angeles. The second BIG con is the cancelation policy. If you skip a class you reserved it’s a $20 hit to your bank account. If you show up late, it’s $15. You can only avoid the fees if you somehow manage to cancel your reserved spot at least 12 hours before the class time.

Because of this, I only reserve classes the morning I plan to work out, so I miss out on Flywheel and other limited space classes that manage to fill up quickly.

Outside of that, I dig the system, and if you want to give it a shot you can sign up for a Class Pass and try it for two weeks for $19. I only wish I would have used that link first.

Life

Hometown Hunt: The Rustic

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I’ve been calling Dallas home for a little over two years now, and it surprises most people to discover that I enjoy living in Texas. I’ve made some great friends, I found a sweet job with an admired, rapidly growing restaurant group, and I’ve accomplished some big life goals (read: Sommelier certification!!!)

I realized once I moved here that I cannot live in another place that goes for months without sunshine. Dallas is still a city that feels familiar, yet foreign to me at the same time. It’s changed significantly in the two years we’ve been here; neighborhoods have gentrified at a record pace, cool bars and restaurants have opened up in just about every neighborhood, and buying our first home and expanding our family is on the horizon.

One of my favorite patios in town to soak up sunshine while downing a cold beer is at The Rustic in Uptown. It’s so Texas.

unnamedLiving the restaurant life usually means weekdays off, and on a sunny day you can find their amazing patio full of picnic tables and not very many people. It’s a little slice of outdoor urban bliss. That, matched with a heavy draft list of local beer, an outdoor stage for concerts, and menu items like cactus fritters and calf fries, it’s difficult not to love this place.

NGL_11RusticExterior_33686762_979468The interior showcases warm woods, black leather seats, and an awesome American Flag design made out of beer cans. 
The Rustic_Bar TheRUSTIC_1It’s a fun place to sit around a fire pit and chat with friends, catch a live show, or celebrate happy hour. It’s one of my favorite spots in town, and I want to thank EventBrite for encouraging me to share a favorite place in the city I now call home.

Images courtesy of The Rustic and D Magazine (and my smart phone). 

Decor Life

My Sister’s Baby Shower

IMG_4547Man, I’m exhausted.

That baby shower was a lot of work, and I left the heavy lifting to the wonderful crew at Cafe Hidalgo.

What’s ironic is the stuff I spent the most amount of time and effort on were used the least. I bought a lovely vintage Peacock chair just for this shower – and drove it out all the way from Texas – only for nobody to sit in it.

I also could have gotten away with only having three tables instead of four for guests, since I had eight people RSVP and not bother to show up. Why do people do that? I understand that stuff happens, but it’s rude and inconsiderate to drop off the face of the Earth when you say you’re gonna be somewhere. Jerks.

Let’s get back to the fun stuff, shall we?

I got to work on Pinterest and created this board, which really helped me convey my vision to my best friend in California. The invites confirmed the color scheme I wanted to go with: lots of varying shades of pink, white, ivory, and vintage gold accents.

Since the restaurant was housed in a Spanish style building built in the 1920’s, we decided to incorporate cactus plants, dreamcatchers, and vintage table runners donning Southwestern prints.

This event wasn’t without its challenges: I built a massive fabric and ribbon backdrop that could possibly be the biggest Pinterest fail on the planet. I’m not exaggerating.

It was a colossal pain in the ass to build, impossible to transport, and fell apart at every turn. I Googled the ends of the Earth for close to two months to find a tutorial on it (and I finally found one here).

I followed the instructions, and even purchased a few big spools of poly satin ribbon. The canvas backdrop frayed and created huge knots with the neighboring fabric and ribbon. And the ribbon, well you get what you pay for. Because it sucked. So hard. Five spools cost just under $40, and if you looked at it sideways it would split. Pinning it to the pipe was an extreme test of patience, and the bulk of it ended up ripping off during transport.

If you want to turn a friend into an enemy you should totally have them build this backdrop for you. Seriously. I dream about this thing dying in a fire. Daily.

DSC_0009Now that I’m looking at this photo I should have moved the backdrop to hide the PVC pipe behind the plant to the right, and place the chair to the left of it. Well, you know what they say about hindsight: it’s 20/20.

My best friend used the vintage doilies I found at estate sales and built dreamcatchers with her hot glue gun. They turned out beautiful. We had four total, so we hung one on the back of a chair at each table.

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The dessert table was my favorite project.

DSC_0006My best friend found that B at Hobby Lobby, and glued succulents and moss into it. While most people think we chose B to represent the word Baby, we actually did it because my sister is having a little girl she’s planning to name Bailey Rae. My sister took it home to place in the baby’s nursery.

I found the pink damask tablecloth at an estate sale for $6.

The gold and wood frame in the back was a thrift store find. My best friend and I glued burlap to the back of the frame, and glued three pieces of jute string inside the edge of the frame to hang in front of the burlap. My mom provided us with some vintage photos of my baby sister, and we took them to Kinko’s, scanned them into the machine, and turned them into 4×6 black and white images.

We then found mini gold clothespins at Michael’s, and hung the photos across the jute rope. It was our most inexpensive project and had the biggest impact. It moved my mother to tears.

My best friend already had the cake stands and plates from other parties she’s coordinated, so we were able to just use what she had. The brass accents are some home decor pieces I drove out from Texas.

DSC_0002 We made the signs for the table, and I baked Momofuku Milk Bar’s amazing corn cookies, and these Salted Caramel Crispy Treats. Both turned out delicious.

I sourced the tarts and the cake from Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa at the suggestion of a friend, and man did they kill it. The cake was profoundly delicious. Amazing even. I got their Nutty Chocolate Crush cake and tart assortment. Perfect buttercream and mousse filling, and the cake wasn’t too sweet. My sister said it was the most amazing cake she’s ever had.

I didn’t wake up early enough to visit the flower market in Los Angeles, so we purchased flowers at Costco and built arrangements the night before the party. We found the cactus and succulents at Home Depot. I took some additional family photos and placed one in a frame on each table.

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We played a couple of games, with our favorite being the Celebrity Baby Name game. There was also Baby Present Bingo while my sister was opening gifts, but I did a terrible job calling out the gifts because I was too busy writing who bought her what. We did play Guess the Baby Food in the Jar game, but that one was stupid and I don’t recommend it. After a few margaritas, my aunt spilled a jar of the pea baby food all over the table.

And they say babies are messy.

It ended up raining pretty hard close to the end, so we moved the party indoors to open gifts. Why would it rain in Southern California (AKA the place it never rains) in the middle of July? Beats me. Oh, Stacy’s planning to throw a party outdoors? Time to make it rain. Never the day before or the day after. Just the day of. You’re welcome drought stricken California. You’re welcome.

At the end of it all it was a beautiful day spent with family and friends. My sister was over the moon happy, and my grandmother said it was the most beautiful baby shower she’s ever been to. Mission accomplished.

Here are some additional shots of the shower:

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