Saturday, June 28, 2014

FRIDAY FAVES: DALLAS PICKS

It's my last Friday Faves post (um Saturday, whoops! Stupid move getting in the way of blogging!) from Texas, so I thought it would be fun to share a few places that I've really loved over the last 18+ years of living here.

SEE



Dallas Museum of Art 
I love the DMA for lots of reasons. Free admission, a cool layout, and great art are just a few. Late Nights are a really fun way to experience the museum at night, and they usually have a band, Twitter hunts, and cool activities. As far as special exhibitions go, they have something for everyone, from the fashions of Gaultier to Impressionist paintings of the seaside to the current show featuring the work of jeweler Art Smith (that I'm so bummed to miss!). I've visited more times than I can count and always discover something new. Like that time I realized there was an Egyptian room and it was like a magical surprise with dead people and heirogyphics. (image source)
The Nasher is basically an oasis in the middle of downtown Dallas that also happens to be filled with awesome art. I'm not much of a sculpture-y person, despite being exposed to a fair share of it during school and having several sculptor friends, but dangit if the Nasher isn't  awesome. The inside galleries host special exhibitions and artist discussions (my fave was the Tony Cragg show), but the outside is definitely my favorite space. (image source)
Sixth Floor Museum & Dealey Plaza
If you're at all a history buff, when you hear Dallas, you probably immediately think of JFK. It's really sad what happened to him here, as Texans are (usually) as a whole very friendly and welcoming people, so it's a bummer that such a dark event took place here. I've been to the Sixth Floor Museum a few times, and have taken out-of-state guests as well, and everyone walks away very glad they visited. It's definitely a one of a kind place with a TON of info, footage, and artifacts from the assassination and investigations that took place after the fact, and it's not a stop to miss if you swing through town. (image source)


SHOP


This is (supposedly) America's first shopping center and was established in 1931. It's definitely an affluent shopping area, with retailers like Hermes, Balenciaga, Dior, Chanel, DVF among others, but it's a fun place to wander around and window shop even if I can't ever hope to be able to shop here, lol. A close second to my love of the fashion is the fact that I absolutely adore the styling of the buildings. They remind me a lot of the vintage Spanish-inspired shops and homes in Los Angeles that I love so much. Side note: I got my hair cut at the Fekkai salon here, and the service was amazing. Definitely recommend Julien, the lead stylist, if you need a new look! (image source)


The Shops at Willow Bend
Typical suburban type mall in a typical higher-end area of North Dallas (Plano, to be exact), but it's a one stop shop for a retail addict like yours truly. They have most of my favorite stores in one place: Forever21 with a decent size plus-size section (not common around here) with it's own set of dressing rooms, an H&M, and Sephora. There is also MAC, Lush, Anthro, and J.Crew if you like those, but I'm usually making a beeline for the F21+ that I kinda zone out and miss everything else, hah! All that's missing is a Torrid and DSW. I could totally spend a day here, and I wish I didn't have to spend all my money on the move so I could have one last little shopping spree. SAD DAY. :P (image source)


Probably my favorite store ever, not gonna lie. If you like making jewelry or just looking at very sparkly and pretty colored geodes and stuff, this place is for you. It's in an unassuming Richardson, TX strip mall and not fancy at all, but I can literally spend an entire afternoon and much too much money in this little store. They not only have beads and gems (both raw and polished), but they also have rock specimens, fossils, and metal supplies, plus it's a convenient place to pick up jewelry findings and metalsmithing tools. The guys that run it are super helpful and very knowledgeable, and they even give you a discount if you buy something in bulk. I'm gonna miss you, Rock Barrell! (image source)



EAT



Chuy's
This Tex-Mex place is one of my favorite restaurants, ever. Like, I always choose to go here for my birthday dinner, for special events (erm, graduation dinner!), or if I'm just really in super duper need of a frozen strawberry margarita (or two, lol). The Dallas location especially has a funky vibe with all these little rooms and is decorated with all sorts of random Texican art and and Elvis stuff. Pretty cool. I highly recommend the chips and queso, the Big-As-Yo-Face burritos (I always get the bean and cheese topped with queso, yum!), and again, the frozen strawberry margaritas. I think we might be going there for dinner tonight, haha. (image source)
If you're in the mood for awesome breakfast or lunch stuff, Loco Cafe is the place you want to go. It's a cool little diner-style restaurant a few blocks off of the square in Denton. I always get the veggie sandwich because it has delicious layers of black bean hummus, avocado, peppers and onions, jack cheese, and a really yummy cojita dressing. I'm not sure what is in cojita dressing, but it pretty much rules. I've also heard great things about the Loco Moco and Eggs Lunatic and nothing bad about anything else. I also like that they can vegetarian/veganize some of the stuff on the menu, which is nice. (image source)

Jimmy's Food Store
Finally a picture of food! That right there my friends is one of El Boyfriendo's favorite sandwiches of all time. And if you know EB at all, you'll know that sandwiches are pretty much his favorite thing in the world, so that's saying a lot. It's the Philly Roast Pork and it has pork, gravy of some sort, broccoli rabe, peppers and provolone. He usually orders two, lol. ANYway, Jimmy's in downtown Dallas is just plain awesome. It's a combo deli/Italian grocery store, and they have everything from legit olive oils to jars of homemade preserves (try the cherry!) and meals to go and and and. I highly recommend picking up a package of the homemade lobster ravioli or some Mama's meatballs to add to your next batch of spaghetti. I don't eat meat anymore, but those two I still get nostalgic for. (image source



FUNSIES


I think one of the coolest things about Texas is that a lot of the older towns have historic "downtown" squares. They are usually centered around an old courthouse, with independent shops lining the streets around it. I really like Denton's Square, mainly because the shops in it are quirky and fun, but also because I have some great memories of hanging out with my friends there. My top recommendations are Recycled Books (a HUGE maze of a bookstore with an equally huge selection), Atomic Candy (a really fun candy store that sells toys and oldy-time sodas, too!), UNT on the Square (they hold art gallery exhibitions of students and local artists), and so many more. You really can't go wrong anywhere you stop along the square. Side note: If antiques are your jam, you should check out the Square in McKinney, TX. It is really quaint and cute with great shops and makes for a fun afternoon. (image source)

Majestic Theater
Ok, so I totally hold a super soft spot for the Majestic Theater in downtown Dallas. It's where I got to see Neil Gaiman do a reading and got to MEET him and have him sign my copy of American Gods. Can you say awesome? It was a pretty special mom-kid date night with my boy last summer (he got his copy of The Graveyard Book signed, along with a little headstone doodle!). It has everything you would expect from an old theater, with intricate ceilings and vintage light fixtures and everything. It's also only a block away from a DART train station, so it's easy to get to, too. I would love to go to another event here, it's a snazzy old venue with a lot of character. (image source)


Ah, Jazz Fest. I will miss you! For those of you unfamiliar with it, Jazz Fest is an annual festival featuring, yep, you guessed it, a crap ton of jazz. I'm not really a huge fan of jazz, honestly, but I am a huge fan of festivals with a bunch of stages playing fun music and booths upon booths of local artists selling their wares and food trucks selling delicious goodies like churros and homemade lemonade and corny dogs and popcorn and all that jazz. HA! See what I did there? ;) Anyway, Jazz Fest is pretty cool and it happens every spring (usually April-ish) only a few blocks away from the square in Denton. You should totally go if you're around then. (image source)


Perot Museum
Ok, so full disclosure, I haven't actually been here, but EB and the Kid went last summer and freaking LOVED it. I was in NYC when they decided to go without me (RUDE), and I was totes jealous when they were telling me about how fun it was. It's basically a nature-y science-y kids museum that's fun for grownups, too, and it has all sorts of cool exhibits, like make-your-own-robots and dinosaur skeletons and building your own bird and seeing giant geodes and all sorts of cool stuff that gets my kid-in-a-grownup-mind all excited. Plus, it's in a super modern building with a glass enclosed escalator stuck to the outside. I'm so bummed that I'm going to miss seeing it, but if you have a chance, please go and take lots of pictures and put them on IG for me to see! :D (image source)


SO that is my little roundup of my favorite cool Dallas-area stuff! Dallas peeps, what things around here are your faves? I imagine I'll be back to visit someday as I still have a bit of family in the area, so what should I hit up next time I'm around?

xo
dani

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

COUNTDOWN

 top: Target // necklace: Forever21 // clutch: New Look via ASOS
shorts (similar): Forever21+ // kicks (similar): Converse via Ross

I can't remember if I've mentioned it here on the blog, but we're moving to California this summer! You can bet that I've started counting down the days I have left in Texas, lol! We are leaving at the beginning of July and heading back to Philly for a month to visit my boyfriend's family, then in August we'll be driving across the country to California. I can't tell you how excited I am to finally be moving back to my home state, you guys! 

Not to bore you with too many of the details, but in case you're nosy like me, we are actually selling (almost!) everything we own to make it happen. (Except what's left of my shoes, those are definitely sticking around.) But yeah, since moving is totes expensive, we decided to just get rid of pretty much everything and start fresh once we get to CA. We'll be getting a much smaller place in Los Angeles somewhere, so it doesn't make sense to cart our stuff all the way there if we'd have to downsize anyway. I'll be starting my jewelry line once we get settled, as that whole thing has gotten delayed because of reasons, but I'm looking forward to setting up a new studio space and getting back in the swing of things. Boyfriend will be setting off on a totally new career path, so he's thrilled about that and the possibilities that come with it. And the kiddo will be starting a new school and making new friends, and will be closer to his Nana and cousins and stuff, so he's super excited about all that. So that's the plan! And now you know. :) 

Do you have anything exciting in the works for this summer? :)

xo
dani

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

FLOWER CHILD


kimono (love this neon one!): Yours Clothing // dress: c/o Yours Clothing 
belt: c/o Yours Clothing // earrings: Jewelmint 

New favorite dress alert! You guys, this maxi dress is so gorgeous, even more so in person than I anticipated. I'd been waiting for what seemed like forever for it to become available to purchase on Yours, and I'm so thankful to have received it to review (along with the belt and a necklace that I'll feature in another post soon). The floral-on-black print is my dream maxi dress come true and I love how the semi-sheer chiffon panels float in the breeze. It makes me feel like a boho goddess, lol! :) 

There is also a mini-skirt length underlayer/slip to keep things from being too racy, as well as adjustable shoulder straps and an elasticated waist. I sized up to a UK24 to accommodate my hips, and it was a good call. The top is a bit loose, but not so much so that I won't get a ton of use out of this dress over the summer, especially when paired with a vest or this fabulous kimono that I purchased. Its plain black with fun fringe, and I can't wait to create all sorts of outfits with it. I'm sad its already sold out online, because I think every one of you should get one too, but they now have an amazing neon pink one that I'm eyeing. ;)

Are you as much into maxi dresses and kimonos as I am at the moment? I have a feeling you'll be seeing a lot of both here on the blog this summer. And another thank you to Yours Clothing for sending me this amazing dress, I love it! <3

xo
dani

Sunday, June 15, 2014

WEEKEND WISHLIST: FOUNDATION & CONCEALER

I've been on a makeup kick lately, and although I'm pretty happy with my current foundation, I'm always on the lookout for new products to try. Below are some (mostly higher-end) foundations and concealers that I've been dying to try for forever, but have been putting off mainly because I don't want to spend the money and not like the product. Have you used any of these? Or do you have any recommendations for a combo/oily skinned girl like me that I've overlooked? :)

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8



xo
dani

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

OUTFIT RECAP OF THE #SMALLESTPACKEVER

I'm back from Philly! And although I Instagrammed my outfits while I was away, I thought a little roundup would be good here on the bloggy blog.


In my pre-travel post (either scroll down, or click here to catch up), I showed you guys what I was taking with me. It was literally the smallest amount of clothes I think I've ever travelled with. Definitely an over-packer by nature, I am. But you guys, every thing I took on this trip, minus the toiletries that I stuffed in my kid's bag, fit into a weekender bag (this one). It was pretty amazing, not gonna lie. Anyway, to recap what I packed:

  • 5 tops (three with sleeves, two without)
  • 3 bottoms (one pair each of shorts, jeans, and jeggings)
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 1 light jacket
  • 3 pairs shoes (flats, sandals, slip-ons)
  • 2 bags
  • 5 accessories (three necklaces, one pair earrings, one bracelet)

That makes 20 pieces total (not counting pjs and unmentionables, plus one fancy dress and a cardigan only worn for family stuff). I came up with 10 different outfits, but only nine are pictured above because the tenth one was worn rushing around various airports and whatnot and by the time we got home I was exhausted. But I can tell you about it! It was the blue top, shorts, leopard kicks, white bag, and no jewelry (because airport security is enough of a hassle without having to take off more than your shoes). 

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with the outcome of my #smallestpackever experiment! Here's some valuable takeaways (for me at least!):

  • I now know that I can survive for a week and a half on a minimum of pieces, which is probably a good thing to finally have figured out by the age of 31. 
  • Also, it should be mentioned that a light sweater and jacket are pretty useless for summertime in Philly. I've only ever visited during winter, so I wanted to be prepared for any outcome, snow in June or not. I only wore the jacket once and didn't wear the sweater at all. 
  • If I could do it again, I would swap the sweater and jacket for another top and maybe a skirt or dress. And I probably could've lived without the flats, as the sandals and leopard slip-ons were my go-to's anyway, so maybe I will take a pair of heels next time instead or just two pairs (the horror!!).
  • I'm also kind of proud of myself for overcoming my fear of packing small. I will admit, I started getting bored wearing only the same few things for 10 days, but it's good to know that I can do it if I have to. And a good test run for if I ever get to travel abroad and need to do it again. :)

Do you pack small? Have any good tips for me that you'd be willing to share? I'd love to hear 'em!

xo
dani