Friday, April 29, 2011

Princess In Waiting

Yeah, yeah. So Will and Kate have been the subject of hundreds of articles and blogs and videos and everything for months. Many people don't care about the Royal Wedding and anything it meant for tradition, the monarchy, or even just for the idea of true love, itself. This Royal Wedding was NOTHING like Princess Di's. They KNOW each other and seem to be very in love. Yes, a Prince CAN fall in love with a commoner and make her the next Queen of England.

While I have great respect for the monarchy, I really have respect for the two individuals themselves.

Firstly, Kate is just another one of the girls. She comes across as very genuine, and very confident (but not overly so). She is comfortable with herself, and obviously comfortable with Will. Her family consists of self-made millionaires, so she knows a thing or two about ambition and success. She has fabulous style; although, her natural beauty could mask any lack in the fashion department. She seems fun, but respectful. She seems born to be royal. Every time I see a picture of her, or a story about her, I just think to myself, "I don't want to be Kate Middleton, I just want to be her friend!" Even if she was nicknamed "Princess in Waiting" while in boarding school, she obviously has a poise all her own. I do believe she has found someone she truly loves, and the feeling is mutual. That's a rarity these days!

Then there's Will. Yes, he is quite charming. He has been through quite a lot in less than 30 years. I had someone ask me today, "What do the Royals even do?" That is the great thing about William and Harry. They do quite a bit. They do not just sit around and mooch off everyone else. In fact, William has a very generous heart, most likely inherited from his mother. He also volunteered during his gap year (and changed his life) rather than just traveling abroad. He has served in the Royal Air Force, as a search and rescue pilot. And all of this, he has accomplished without his mother for the last 15 years and served as an excellent role model for his younger brother.

Needless to say, I was very happy to see a day full of love, romance, magic, and fairytale dreams come true. Yes, the Brits really do know how to do a ceremony with plenty of pomp and circumstance. Princess Catherine was stunning and her Prince absolutely charming. I'm excited to see what Kate and Will can do for the monarchy. I hope their current approach is something that they continue, and I can only hope that others will follow suit.

I still can't get enough of the Royal Wedding yet. I may really have to make some effort to move to the UK just to enjoy the new monarchy to the fullest.

Happy Wedding Day! (Just 11 days after my parents celebrated 30 wonderful years of their own marriage!) All my best wishes to the couple!

Picture via

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Dear Readers,
You are so new (and so am I) and yet I have already failed to keep the blog updated. However, this is only partially to blame on my laziness--blogging from the iPhone or iPad isn't quite the same as blogging from a laptop. Unfortunately, my MacBook Air hard drive is dead. Done. Gone. I don't want to spend $2500 to recover the data (that's far too much) so I have been left with very little of my materials to work with. Photos are on the iPad but not as easily edited and all my favorites, as far as web pages go, are gone forever. Pininterest, here I come! So please forgive me. Once the Genius Bar replaces my hard drive, I hope to have plenty new posts for you. I certainly spend plenty of time thinking about what to share!

Again, sorry for the inopportune timing of my hard drive's decision to fade out. Stick with me. The best is yet to come!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dog Days Of Summer

The dog days definitely aren't over. They are just beginning. Recently I had someone rack my brain about dog-friendly patio dining in the Uptown area in Dallas. Believe me, Brewster knows a thing or two about dining out! In April, i Frateli's pizza has a "Smooch Your Pooch" deal every Wednesday. Bring your dog in, give em a big kiss, and get a free cheese pizza! (for the first 50 people at each location in DFW) Looks like pizza for dinner!

Some of Brewster's favorites:

State and Allen Lounge
Decently sized patio and strong drinks make for a great time, especially for weekend brunch. I'm especially fond of the chicken and waffles.

Dream Cafe
Half price wine on Wednesdays and a rather healthy brunch/breakfast menu. Brewster especially appreciates his own water bowl on every visit.

As long as there's a spot on the super tiny area they consider dog-friendly, then it's a great place to for a doggie-date. And in case you haven't tried it, they make more than just great brunch. Dinner is great too!

I love the French (and rather authentic French) menu and the patio is very dog-friendly. It's a bit crazy on the weekends with lots of passers-by from the Katy Trail, but a favorite of ours nonetheless.

Fireside Pies
Brewster and I love to grab some of our favorite comfort food and comfort drink (sangria) by the fire on the patio in the wintertime. Plus, the waitresses here have quite the affection for Brewster.

Taco Diner
West Village is the ultimate place for people watching and Brewster loves this kind of party. A mambo taxi makes it bearable long enough for Brewster to soak up all the attention.

Brewster and I are always looking for new places for dinner dates. If you know of great places, please reply with your comments!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

30 Years Ago Today

You'll have to excuse the Christmas themed photo, but this is my personal fave of my parents (and their dogs) that have been together for 30 years today!

I feel pretty lucky to be a witness to their long, happy marriage...after dating for just 2 months to the day and being married. Their story is a very romantic one, so the bar is set high for any future love of mine. They consider each other "soul mates" and I can only hope to find the same for myself. Happy 30th Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Boston Legal

Sorry for another hiatus from the blog. A weekend in New England sort of got in the way.

Oh! How I wish that title will someday mean "family time" as in my own family spending some time out on the town in Boston. :) For now, the short weekend with my cousin will have to do. With just under 48 hours to get away from it all and hit up New England for a weekend, we covered quite a bit of ground.

We stayed at The Onyx Hotel near the Boston Garden...great hotel...sketchy location for two young ladies! Although, if you are a Bruins or Celtics fan, I HIGHLY recommend the location. It's also pretty convenient to the extremely tastebud-friendly area in the North End.

Our weekend started with some good old-fashioned bar hopping. We hit a couple of Boston's oldest taverns near Fanuiel Hall--obviously including the Black Rose and it's Irish band. My, oh my, how those Bostonians loves their Irish!

A hangover and half a day slept away later, we headed out for a Duck Tour. A great way to spend 80 minutes figuring out what we wanted to do with the rest of our time. It is definitely a "tourist-y" thing to do, but well worth it!

This was not our "Dukw". Ours wasn't nearly this "pretty".

After exploring Boston by "boat", we then hopped off to explore by foot. We walked most of the Back Bay in less than an afternoon and likely the entirety of Newbury St. stopping in our favorite boutiques--Lily Pulitzer, Vineyard Vines, Kate Spade, and of course the necessary stop in H&M.

We finally wore out the wallet and our feet and headed back to the hotel for a refresher...then off to dinner and meeting up with old friends. A fairly new restaurant in Boston, The Met Bar in Back Bay is absolutely fabulous. The food, atmosphere, location, service...every thing was perfect!

I do believe they know a thing or two about presentation!

That fabulous meal was then followed up with drinks in Harvard Square and time with an old friend, Jay. I thought he was crazy for taking a job in Boston three and a half years ago. Actually, he was just way ahead of the game!

Sunday morning we popped out of bed and headed back down towards the Back Bay for brunch. Jay had recommended Sonsie, but we happened to pass by CafeTeria first. Typical American brunch with a fabulous patio location for Boston's 2nd day above out of the 50-degree-weather-slump. :)

Too HOT for the jacket!

Fueled up and ready for more Boston, we gave up on the Purple Line that we had planned to take to Harpoon Brewery for a tour and instead opted for Fenway Park. The game wasn't supposed to start for a good seven hours, so it was quiet, but a great time to explore.

Almost wore a Rangers shirt for this trip, but felt the 3-0 series for our Home Opener might still be a sore spot for the Red Sox. :)
Still craving some good Italian food and the likes of Mike's Bakery, we finished up our trip with a jaunt in the North End. Whoopie pies, cookies, Boston Creme Puffs, Cannolis, and Cupcakes later...we found a pedi cab back to the hotel to pick up our luggage.

Breezy ride back to the hotel!

All-in-all a fabulous weekend full of great food, shopping, friends, and family. A good start to spring for sure! If only our Southern charm had scared all those Northern men away... That certainly didn't keep me from picking up some real estate guides before heading out of town.
'Til next time Beantown!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Let's Take This Outside

The weather in Dallas has been phenomenal for most of March, and now April as well. No better time to share with you my outdoor space...and ideas I have for its "redo" as well.

The Patio
I moved into a townhouse with outdoor space on every level. A relatively large patio (for the size of the home), a small standing balcony on the 2nd level, and a large covered balcony on the 3rd level. I originally pulled up the nice brick patio to seed grass for the dogs to have a quick place to potty. I almost immediately regretted this decision as the dogs were constantly tracking in mud and poo. (I should have kept the brick patio!) It was terrible! I eventually gave up on the grass and installed artificial turf. My parents have this in their backyard as well as at my father's clinic. It stays green all year long and requires no watering except to wash it down to avoid causing an odor. Picking up after the dogs is actually much easier on the turf than actual grass too. This has saved my floors and my mind! The only problem with the turf comes in the fact that it gets EXTREMELY hot in the summer. It burns the dogs' feet and it makes the whole area a big sauna. In Dallas, the summers are hot all by themselves so adding that additional heat isn't healthy for the dogs (nor is it energy efficient when all the heat seems to beam straight into the house). To remedy the situation, I purchased a pergola (complete with a shade) that I hope to get put together soon.

The original patio (previous owner's furniture).

First try with just the grass. Looked fabulous...for a while. And then the grass died because the water couldn't keep up with the heat last summer.

When the workers laid the slate, they spread it out more than I would have liked, I just haven't taken the time to move them myself. That big box is my pergola waiting to be assembled.

 And I can't wait to fill those empty flower pots with caladiums and potato vine! It's just so LUSH in the summer!

While last year's grass died, the caladiums took over! This was taken just a couple days before some unknown animal devoured my potato vine...and I mean ALL of it.

I'm thinking the simple little bench currently sitting in the corner also needs an update. Perhaps a wide chaise lounge or at least a deeper, more comfortable bench? It does neighbor the grill, so perhaps a little bistro set ould be perfect for enjoying hot burgers off the grill...

Or maybe I'll take movie night outdoors? Pottery Barn has outdone itself again, and I want to be a part of it!

The Balcony
It currently consists of my old patio furniture (that I've had for YEARS now) that definitely needs a new coat of paint. But what I really want is all new patio furniture. Something more updated and chic. I want to create a little outdoor room complete with outdoor curtains--a little outdoor oasis.

The current balcony. I've always loved this furniture and obviously the black and white, I just don't find myself taking the time to enjoy it.

I'm thinking some black and white curtains on the outside of the balcony would provide chic shade, and make the balcony a more comfortable place during the hot summer days in Dallas.

I like the idea of a "conversation" porch. Something simple with a couple chairs and a table--a place to curl up with a good book or a glass (or an entire carafe) of wine.

I have loved the Pottery Barn outdoor furniture look for some time. I think a cute sectional would find a great home on my balcony...if I can find the right size.
Oh the idea of a sleeping porch! It feels so much like summer camp, and it seems like such a perfect way to enjoy spring nights!

A bit too rugged to fit in my space, but it looks so fabulous. Perhaps I can create a more refined version of my own?

The slate gets extremely hot in the 5 o'clock summer sun, so I will "have to" have a rug. This one comes from Home Decorators.

And since there's already a light overhead, perhaps a hanging lantern would be fun as well!

I'm thinking this combination is begging someone to take a nice long afternoon nap.

So what do you think?

For the patio: a small bistro set for dining or a larger bench for lounging? Or scrap it all together and make the lounge space for movie night? Don't forget space for the caladiums!

For the balcony: A conversation porch with a couple chairs and table, a sectional sofa for napping, or the sleeping porch with perhaps even a "floor bed"?

Summer is so close, I'm almost obsessed with the idea of this new project!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Good Day in Texas

It's always a good day in Texas.

But today...

The Texas Rangers started their season 5-0! I was lucky enough to watch them beat the Mariners last night. The weather might have been slightly more appropriate for football, but a great game nonetheless. What is it about ballpark hotdogs that makes them SO much better than all other hotdogs? With the Rangers playing this well so early, I'm sensing a great summer ahead in the Metroplex!

Speaking of the Rangers, I had some guy friends dare me to wear a Rangers shirt into a bar in Boston this coming weekend...and even better to ask them to turn on the Rangers game? Not so sure that would land me in good company in Boston, especially after the sweeping the Red Sox for opening weekend! My Texas. My Rangers.

The Texas A&M Women's Basketball team just won the NCAA Championship. Hats off to those ladies! I'm a Red Raider for life, but it's always great to see the Big 12 show up so strongly. Since I knew the Aggie Fight Song a good 10 years before I knew how to sing "Fight, Raiders, Fight!", I'll hand out my occasional yell here. Gig 'em Ags!

And on that note, I'll say that's good enough news to call it a day.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Shout Out!

As she very rightfully mentioned, my friend Kendall was my first reader on my blog. I failed to give her a shout out (although I gave my first follower one). Not exactly fair...especially when it's one of your best friends! Lesson learned: don't take friends for granted. :)

Sorry for the absence this week readers, its been a bit of a crazy week. I can't seem to catch up either. Hoping tomorrow night offers me to the opportunity to blog about how divided I feel about the Grey's Anatomy episode, or to brag about my newly tinted windows, or maybe even tell you how great my Dad is for making time for late night drinks when he was in town. All in all, it's been a good week, just a busy one! So no need to fret, my dear, plenty of interesting things about life, love, design, surgery, etc to share very soon!

Ta Ta For Now!

If only Kendall could contribute some great pics of us for this post. :)

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