Images from Barca and Lisbon

This is embarrassing, but I am JUST now sorting through my photos from my trip to Barcelona and Lisbon in FEBRUARY.  I blame Instagram – a few (filtered of course!) of the most fun gems got posted from my phone in real time and then I completed neglected my digital SLR (people just use phones anyway these days, right?).  Money well spent on the fancy camera hah.  (This was all partly because I’ve only just now located a cord to connect the camera to my computer).  So, without further ado, I give you a few (and only a few because the theme of this post is my laziness) images from my trip.

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I’ve also decided I’m going to make a gallery wall in my house, so some of these photos are contenders.  Do I do color or all black and white?

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Cool Things I’ve Done in this City Lately

I’m back from once again what has turned out to be a long hiatus.  I don’t really know why it is that I go through such spurts with writing things.  I guess it’s the excuses with everything else I start but don’t finish – I’ve been busy at work, I’m tired, I have too many social obligations, I’d rather sit on the couch and drink wine and be a vegetable.   But as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I lack a creative outlet in my otherwise super TYPE A life, so I feel like this is good for me.  Probably cheaper than therapy.  Like a journal.  With a lot of swearing and ranting.  And fashion.

Anyways, I digress.  In the few months since I’ve last written anything, I swear I haven’t been sitting on the couch (the whole time).  I really have been quite the busy bee.  I had a trip to Santa Fe for a wedding.  Another trip to San Francisco see some old friends from my study abroad days.  And otherwise, I’ve been nerding it up being super cultural.  There have been tons of fun things going on around town these days.  I know most of my three readers don’t live in Dallas, so apologies y’all, you can skip this post and wait three months for the next post if you’d prefer.

D Magazine 100 Best Restaurants

Last week my brother and I went to an event honoring the nominees who made D Magazine’s 100 Best Restaurants list this year.  It was held in the Trinity Groves area of town, which is the new up-and-coming (read: used to be the ghetto is … transitional) area of town (across the awesome Calatrava Bridge).  (In all seriousness though, this place will be hoppin’ soon.)  I felt like Padma from Top Chef.  Wait, I hate Padma.  Gail Simmons on Top Chef – loooove her (though I’d rather be more like Tom Colicchio cause he’s kind of an a-hole and it’s fun).  So, for the price of our event ticket, we were treated to an open bar and small bites from about 30 of the top 100 restaurants in Dallas.  All the big names in town, so great food.  It was a really fun and interesting event, and if you know the Dallas restaurant scene, you’d recognize lots of local celebrity chefs.  I’msuperhipandcool.  I have to say, it must be a lot of pressure to have to make one small plate to represent your entire restaurant/culinary concept/skillz.  Corn chowder though?  From a top 10 restaurant.  Interesting choice, not sure I would have gone that route.  Trying too hard to be breezy.  But overall, amazing food, and it was so great just to have one little bit of everything.  I’m thinking about becoming a foodie.  I will note that I have only been to 3 of the top 10 restaurants.  Good timing that it’s summer recruiting season at work…Firm, get ready to shell out.

Dallas Preservation Society Awards

Continuing the trend, another date with my brother.  He signed us up for this because he knows I’m nerdy and into architectural and historical things.  And he’s a civil engineer so he’s nerdy about stuff too.  I have to say, I was worried I was going to be bored.  But looking at these cool restoration projects and before-and-after pictures and renovations just really rekindled the latent nerdiness.  I left ready to quit lawyering and become an architect.  Dare to dream.

Byron Nelson

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To balance out the nerdiness (or also cause the firm gave me tickets and I got to have the day off work in exchange for drinking beer with clients), I went to the Byron Nelson last weekend.  If you don’t know, the Byron is a Dallas mainstay.  Everyone goes.  Even people like me who would rather watch paint dry than watch a golf tournament on tv (or, is that the same thing?).  At the minimum it’s day drinking and great people watching (you, girls that are dressed to go to the clubz, get the hell out of here) in a beautiful setting.  And apparently if you’re a cute boy, you like to watch golf.  NOTED.

Gastronomy at the Perot Museum

I think this is only partially nerdy, because everyone in Dallas is SUPER into the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science so no one actually thinks you’re a nerd if you spend a weekend night there.  In fact, that’s the way to do it cause they often have events with booze and no kids aloud.  Now, that’s what I’m talking about.  It’d be annoying to have to shove a toddler out of my way of the dinosaur bones without spilling my Cabernet.    Anyways, aside from grownups only event nights, they have another set of events called Social Sciences.  Still grownups only with bars (like I’d go anywhere that doesn’t have wine), but every few months they have a sciency theme.  So when I saw Gastronomy (see above re: me contemplating becoming a foodie), I signed us up!  It was super fun.  We tasted wines (shocker!) and had ice cream made out of liquid nitrogen.  Grownup science experiments.  Super fun.  If you go, don’t let the booze distract you cause science can be super cool.

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Quirky Wallpaper

So I have recently decided I am really into wallpaper these days.  Growing up, I always found wallpaper really dowdy and old, but lately I’ve seen a lot of interiors that have really cool wallpapers that really pop and look really dramatic.  They’re fun and quirky (just like ME – hah!)  I think for me the key is to exercise a little restraint – small surface areas and otherwise simple decor.  Don’t overdo or it’ll look like a Where’s Waldo book vomited all over your walls.  I WILL have some sweet wallpaper in my house some day.

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Attitude Adjustment

It has been one of my New Year’s resolutions to have a good attitude about everything.  Job, singleness, life.  I’m not going to lie, it’s a constant struggle for me.  Maybe it’s because my job is boring (dangit, self, adjust the attitude).  But really, I’m sure it’s natural for most people to focus on the things that are less than ideal instead of everything good you have going for you.  But you really HAVE to focus on the good things or you’re just perpetuating your unhappiness (AND no one will want to hang out with you – it’s a vicious cycle).

I was whining via text message to my good friend (you know who you are – thanks ladyfrand) and also checking out all my favorite blogs, and I came across this post, on one of my favorite blogs, where she asked all her readers to list three things that they’re thankful for.

So in the spirit of appreciation and not whininess, I present you with my appreciated items, as of right this second:

1.  That I have some wonderfully funny, witty, and supportive girlfriends.

2.  The health and safety of my family.

3.  Red wine (please don’t send me to the Betty Ford).

4.  Weekends when you can lay in bed and read while it’s raining (maybe with red wine – look at that – things overlap) and not have to go anywhere.

5.  Duck Dynasty – this deserves a whole separate post, but it’s such an amazing, hilarious, genuine (tv) show.  A half hour attitude adjustment if I ever had one.  Don’t judge me (love it SO much).  I do own camo, but I’m still a cityfolk.

Look at that, more than three happy things, and those just came off the top of my head.  Lesson learned.

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Fancy Drinking

I’ve recently become obsessed with the idea of having a bar cart.  Particularly of the vintage variety even though I tend toward more modern.  Usually I’m more of a fan of having things put away in drawers and cabinets to hide clutter and make everything more sleek, but booze is pretty, right?  There are so many options and so many ways to style them – it’s really a chance to show off your personality and your style.

And these carts?  I NEED one.

Here is a great post about how to set up your bar cart.  Personally, mine will have a gorgeous shaker, Saint Germaine, these champagne flutes which I got for Christmas, and a unique decanter.

I mean, how happy would you be if you arrived home to this everyday???

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Lust List: Art Deco Earrings

For my second installment of the Lust List, I bring you some sweet 20’s and 30’s -inspired earrings that are trending right now (sorry for using the term “trending”).  I’ve always been a fan of art deco – I find it fun, funky, and hip but very chic at the same time.  We’ve got some Gatsby going on here (very excited for the upcoming Baz Luhrmann remake by the way), inspired by stained glass windows, geometric shapes, swanky colors (yes, colors can be swanky), and metallic accents.  I think all of these would be a great pop to a little black dress or an otherwise simple outfit.
Lust List: Art Deco Earrings

Ippolita brown earrings
saksfifthavenue.com

Tear drop earrings
boutique1.com

Ca lou
boutique1.com

Rachel zoe jewelry
bergdorfgoodman.com

Fiona Paxton art deco jewelry
$145 – glam-net.com

A v max jewelry
saksfifthavenue.com

Lokalwear art deco jewelry
$59 – ourstyle.hu

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Everyone Loves Lunacy

I’m pretty much a looney person – so this is of course right up my alley.

There is nothing that will make you feel worse about bitching (in your head) about flying coach overseas (i.e. Slum Class, according to Hugh Grant’s character in the Bridget Jones Diaries (very academic, yes, I know…)) than reading a (true) story about really roughing it.   It slaps a little perspective into ya.

I got this book, the Lunatic Express, by Carl Hoffman, on recommendation from my sister (hey girl, haaaay!) after talking to a stranger on the airplane (we’re so related).  Hoffman is a journalist who started ruminating on the difference between the way that we, rich people (even if you don’t think you’re rich, if you have the interwebs and free time and are reading this … you’re rich), travel – for fun, for vacation, to become “worldly” – versus those that live in third world and developing countries that risk their lives on a daily basis just to get to work to make a few dollars a month, to meet their families in remote villages, to lead their day-to-day lives.

These journeys of the “others” are fairly undocumented, though they are dangerous and people die on a daily basis.  We don’t think about travel as being functional.  But every day, people in South America, India, Bangladesh, everywhere, are traveling in squalor, dozens of hours on end, just to get somewhere.  Boats and trains are so overcrowded that people are physically ejected.  Planes that don’t have safety regulations, seat belts, functioning towers, crash and kill hundreds.  And it’s barely a blip on the radar of the developed world.

Trains in India {photo credit}

Hoffman chose to travel around the world taking all of the most dangerous forms of transportation.  Not traveling to see, but traveling just to move.  He experienced the worst possible conditions – sleeping on planks in the belly of rusty boats with roaches crawling all over him, rickety buses hurtling through the jungles in South America, no bathrooms or running water to be found, overcrowding to the point of being on top of another human being.  Yet his journeys show an incredible perspective on humanity.  Everywhere he went, he was a celebrity.  People knew he was foreign, different, not versed in the ways of survival in a different realm of living… and they took care of him.  People that made the equivalent of a few US dollars a month bought him food, drinks, and opened their (meager) homes.  It is amazing thing to read about such poverty, and yet such giving.

Part of Hoffman’s journey was to run, to escape from everything that was his life, to be isolated.  Yet, he found that the further he ran into the depths of the third world, the jungles, the deserts, and the more he tried to disconnect, the more he felt connected to humanity, the more he understood that he was a part of something larger.  And while these interactions and relationships were quickly forged and fleeting, they are what makes us human – our relationships, our people.   It really gives you a new perspective on travel.  I like to think that I’m open-minded and into experiencing something that is real.  But…I stay in nice hotels, eat nice food, don’t drink the water in countries where the CDC says not to drink the water.  I’m sheltered.  I’ve never roughed it a day in my life.  You think you are seeing the world, but you’re only seeing what makes you comfortable, what you want to see.  I definitely recommend this book to give you a shiny gritty new, rugged, *down to earth* perspective.

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