Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Do Dallas: Trinity Groves

Have you heard of Eventbrite? No? Well, I'm here to personally tell you that it's awesome. Eventbrite allows you to manage entire events all through their software. I've used it for a few on-campus events and have had such a positive experience! It's fantastic if you are running a large event where you need to keep track of tickets. Eventbrite's Hometown Hunt project goes hand in hand with my Do Dallas Series, and I chose to write about my favorite place to eat here in DFW!

One of my favorite places in Dallas this summer has been Trinity Groves (TG), a community-oriented restaurant incubator. TG provides startup assistance for small business owners with a unique idea. The cool thing is that once a restaurant takes off, they move out of the warehouse to their own retail space. This means that restaurants and shops are always cycling in and out of Trinity Groves, so it's changing all the time!

Trinity Groves has a prime location right across the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. I mean, look at these prime photo opportunities. Check it out now - your Instagram will thank you later! Parking is free across the street, and there are always so many open spots! That's unheard of in Dallas. Trinity Groves also offers valet, if you're feeling fancy.

Most of the restaurants lean towards the expensive end due to their unique flare. Types of food range from Moroccan to sushi to hot dogs. I've had a chance to stop by a few of them, and I can't wait to try more!
image source
Chino Chinatown
This is one of the less expensive venues, serving dishes similar to Chinese take-out but with Latin American inspiration. I've had the Kung Pao Pollo. The food tasted great, it just didn't have as many Latin flavors as I expected. I would describe the dish as very upscale take out. I really want to try the ramen - hopefully it has more Latin flair to it!

Sugar Skull Cafe
Sugar Skull has been on featured on several Dallas restaurant lists, and they are 100% right. Brunch is served until 11AM on weekdays and 1PM on weekends. One breakfast taco costs $4-$5, and they're huge! Yeah, street tacos are cheaper, but look at the size of this taco! A great deal for a cafe, if you ask me. Sugar Skull also serves Ascension Coffee, a local Dallas coffee roaster. My iced 16oz latte was $4.50 though, which evened out the cheap taco.

Cake Bar
Most eateries in Trinity Groves lean towards the expensive side, but a big slice of cake at Cake Bar was only $4.50. We stuck with a traditional chocolate cake. Was it the best cake I've ever had? Probably. I would have gotten an entire cake for myself, but I then realized that eating a whole cake would not have been a good idea.

Kate Weiser Chocolate
Kate creates the most beautiful chocolate I have ever seen. At $2.50 a piece, my chocolate wasn't as wallet-friendly at Cake Bar. But Kate hand paints them! Every piece of chocolate an aesthetic and culinary masterpiece. Kate is super nice and helped us out personally. She didn't ask me to write this post; I just think she's awesome. She really cares that everyone gets exactly what they want, and that's amazing. Check out her Instagram (which she runs on her own) for a little behind the scenes and more chocolate aesthetic. I will definitely be back!

Overall, Trinity Groves is a great place if you're looking to try something new. There's a variety of food options, and since it's so new, there are always new restaurants opening. After dinner, you can take a nice stroll along the Continental Avenue Bridge, head to the Bishop Arts District for some artisan shopping, or go into downtown. I can't wait to see how they'll continue to revitalize the area!

What are your favorite places to hang out in your town? I'd love to hear about them!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Morning Loves #1

So, I used to do Friday Loves, but I'm changing it to Sunday for no reason in particular. I just feel like posts like these are more suited for Sundays - sleep in a little, get breakfast in bed, and read fun stuff online. Right? (Next time I'll actually have it up in the morning, woops. It's hard to plan when you don't have internet in your apartment!)

Anyway, here's what I've been loving this week!

This dress from American Apparel, but in a print that's no longer available. Do I regret not buying it when it was on sale for $30? Yes. Could I probably find an alternative at Forever 21? Yes.

A friend of mine made this blueberry crumble pie, but added fresh raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. It was delicious! I'd love to make it myself sometime and use a vodka pie crust.

As if I needed more desserts, I baked a peach cobbler, too. I adjusted the recipe a little bit and used fresh peaches rather than canned. If you'd like to see my version, let me know! (I'll probably post it anyway.)

I am in love with Jackie's blog, York Avenue. If you haven't seen her apartment tours, go now! Her photographs are beautiful, and I keep adding to my never-ending list of places to visit in NYC.

If you ever visit Austin, Texas, you have to check out Walton's Fancy and Staple. I wouldn't have stopped by if it weren't for Jessica's Instagram post - you can check out her blog here! If you're interested in seeing more of Austin, I'm posting a travel guide next month.

I'll be participating in the #bloggersBTS linkup, created by Nicole and Cathleen! For the entire month of August, bloggers will be writing themed back to school posts. I can't wait!

That's all for today! Stay tuned this week for another Do Dallas post. I hope you have a happy Sunday!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wishlist Wednesday: The Midi Skirt

If there's anything that's changed about my style & shopping habits in the past year, it's that my average price point has raised significantly. Whether it's because I'm getting older, I worked in a semi-higher-end clothing store, or I've found a new love for boutiques, it's becoming a (first world) problem.

In my lame effort to pursue a kind-of minimalist lifestyle, I think long and hard before spending more than $30 on a single clothing item. My reasoning is, why spend that much on one item when I could go thrifting and get 3 items for the same price? That pretty much defeats the purpose of minimalism, but I'm working on it!

sources: i // ii

Anyway, that's the reason why I haven't purchased a midi skirt yet. I love this trend, and I hope it sticks around for a little while longer. I've yet to find one that fits my price point, and honestly, I don't know if I could pull it off without looking like an ill-dressed/old school librarian. No hate towards librarians though, they're awesome!

The most prominent midi skirt styles I've seen are striped, floral, or plain. A few shops have illustrated designs, but I'm definitely not cool enough to pull them off! I feel like you have to live in Europe or NYC to wear these, you know?

purchase: i // ii

If I ever cave and get over my fear of looking like a failed fashion attempt, I'd probably opt for a single colored skater midi skirt. I think the structured ones (is there a name for this?) are more suited for petites. Here are a few of my favorites & links to buy:

purchase: i // ii // iii

I think a few go-to's would be to pair these with a chambray, tie-front, or crop top. If you have any tips on styling midi skirts, let me know! I want to jump on the bandwagon!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Downtown McKinney

top pacsun | skirt urban outfitters | sandals target | necklace forever 21

After visiting the farmer's market in the morning, a few of the interns and I headed to downtown McKinney and walked around. I scored a new skirt at Urban for only $10 on the sale rack! It was a perfect find because I'd been looking for a black skater skirt. It's a little shorter than I thought, but I wear shorts under skirts & dresses anyway because I'm paranoid. Protip - don't wear short skirts on a windy day!

We grabbed brunch at Spoons Cafe, which serves breakfast all day. Any place that serves breakfast food forever is fine by me.

While looking for a backdrop to take outfit photos, we found a piano in a not-creepy alley. It was way out of tune, but it looked like it was going to be used as a stage prop. 

We got our second coffee fix at fILTER(ed). It's a really unique coffee shop, I'd recommend going! I had a lavender iced latte, which was weird but good. They also serve nitrogen-infused coffee. It's supposed to provide an additional energy boost. It didn't really taste like coffee to me, but it wasn't necessarily bad. If it's your first time drinking it, I would highly recommend cream and/or sugar. That stuff was strong.

Finally, I got to visit West & Lou, a boutique owned by Kendi from Kendi Everyday! Her blog is one of the first ones I started reading, and a major inspiration of mine. Everything in the store was so cute!

Opening a boutique (or coffee shop, or any kind of small business) is a dream of mine, and I don't think it's out of reach. How cool would it be to wake up and be excited to go to work? But, I digress. I've still got a few years of school left to figure all of that out.

Do you have any favorite boutiques or small businesses? Let me know! I love checking them out.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Do Dallas: McKinney Farmer's Market

If there's anything I've learned at all this summer, it's that I learned that I'm in love with Dallas. Prior to moving in before the summer, I compiled a list of places I wanted to go to & things I wanted to do. I love reading blog posts about others' adventures, so I thought I'd start my own travel guide/to-do list for Dallas. Without further ado, I present to you the first post in my Do Dallas series!

Chestnut Square Historic Village
315 S. Chestnut Street
McKinney, TX 75069

(Also, as you can see in the shamelessly pinnable image above, I've purchased my domain! I'll be making the transition mid-August.)

A couple of the interns and I headed to McKinney on Saturday morning to go to the farmer's market, which was previously ranked #1 in Texas.

The market is open every Saturday from 8AM-12PM and is located in Chestnut Square. Parking is free, but I recommend getting there right when they open to get a spot in the closest lot.

Everyone was so friendly! Nearly every vendor was giving out free samples. I got to try fudge, fancy lemon bread, sprouted nuts, homemade juices, and some kind of weird breakfast chicken tortilla.

There was a produce, pastries, and an artisan section. I got a cup of coffee to drink while we strolled, a few peaches, and a peppermint leg bar to be used for shaving. It's the circle bar pictured below. Let me tell you, it makes shaving great.

What I really like about this market is that I didn't have to fight my way to walk through it, unlike what I've heard about the Dallas Farmer's Market. McKinney is small and homey, but the selection is still excellent. Plus, when you're done at the market, you can just walk to downtown and grab lunch.

We also explored downtown McKinney, which I'll share later along with what I wore on our little adventure. If you know of cool places in the DFW area, let me know! I love exploring. After visiting this market, I've decided to make it a point to shop local. I'm a lot more conscious of it now than I was at the beginning of the summer.

Where are your favorite local markets? I would love to hear about them!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

'Merica Day

 For those in America, I hope you had a fantastic 4th of July! The 4th is one of my favorite holidays because I love fireworks. I don't know what it is that makes them so magical to me, but they just are. That, and Independence Day also brings a wealth of corn dogs, BBQ, and funnel cakes. How could I complain?

I'm a little sad that I didn't get to see the Nashville show (best show in the nation!) like I usually do, but Texas has a lot to offer! What's cool is that each city in Dallas-Fort Worth hosts their celebration on a different night, so you have the opportunity to go to all of them. The interns and I went to Kaboom Town, which was supposed to be the best show in DFW. It definitely didn't size up to Nashville's, but it was fun nonetheless! There was a concert, an air show, and of course, a great fireworks show.

Excuse the wrinkly shorts. I don't have an iron in Texas, oops. Top - Plato's Closet, J.Crew | Shorts - Plato's Closet | Necklace - Forever 21 | Sandals - Target

Thankfully, the weather wasn't as hot as I was expecting it to be. I normally don't have anything fun to wear for the 4th since I don't like to branch out with colors, but I've been working on that! I got the top and shorts from Plato's Closet. And, guess what - that's a J. Crew top! $9? I'll take it.

This was the first time I've tried to take outfit photos by myself. It took an infinitely long time, but I don't think they're too shabby. Focusing the camera was my biggest challenge, as you can probably tell.
Me tryna be cute and excited about the 4th of July
At Kaboom Town, I played with long exposure photography for the first time. I've always wanted to photograph fireworks, and I finally got the chance! Here are some of my favorites from the night.

Click to view the full size - Blogger thumbnails don't do them justice!


This summer has really inspired me to get back into blogging. I really do love it, I just use the "oh no I don't have time" excuse, but I've never made time. My style has changed this past year, and I want to share that. I'm even looking into editorial calendars so I don't go too long without a post. I am determined to stick to it!

How did you celebrate the 4th?