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New Design District Digs - Again & Again and Scout Interiors

30 June 2012

As I've posted a few times before, the Design District in Dallas is one of my favorite, if not my favorite, areas of our fine city. I work just a few blocks away and when I first started my job I was over whipping out my credit card with rapid fury browsing every day. One very full house (and very shallow looking checking account) later I promised myself that I would only venture over to Riverside if it was of utmost importance. 

Utmost importance like new showrooms for two of my favorite designers and dealers in Dallas? Obviously. 

My first stop yesterday after work was to the new Again & Again furniture space on Riverside. This store has been doing incredible upholstery and design work on vintage furniture for years and it is so exciting to see them in a space where they will really be able to grow and flourish! 

Head down Riverside and it's right next to Big Mango Trading Co. Look for the bright pink door!

The Pink Pagoda was at the showroom earlier this week and took some great photos of the new space. There were some pieces that had me standing slackjawed that I had to snap them on my phone for myself. 

I have the white four poster bed from Ikea and I wanted to take home this bench to place at the end of it. My sterile, Scandinavian bedroom furniture is begging for a little fancy...

Speaking of, I feel there might be few things fancier than a porcelain camel for your home. I think this guy and Little Child would get along great! There are lots of elks and elephants in home decorating right now, and I think it might be time for camels to have their moment. And if Kate Spade has taken notice than I'm usually put on high alert. 

Lots of fun things are coming to this space, like a fabric bar where you can make your re-upholstery dreams come alive and a lamp bar to mix and match their selection of vintage finds. I also hear whispers of a custom headboard station!

My "shut the front door" moment at Again & Again was over this peacock screen, most surely previously owned by Auntie Mame herself. I would, without hesitation, sell a body organ to acquire this. (Buyer's choice.)

My next Design District destination was over to 155 Howell St for the pre-opening warehouse sale at Scout Interiors. This showroom and back warehouse space is going to be opening in mid August. They're opening the doors this weekend only to preview their look and move some great summer finds!

One of the girls behind the warehouse sale is Kristen Dowd from Gypsy Soul Interiors. I first bought some furniture from Kristen off of Craig's List years ago, then stalked frequented her White Elephant space and now that she's moved her business to Facebook, I'm a full out furniture creeper. 

I loved this Thomasville buffet/bar cart love child below. It is the perfect size for a smaller dining room space that you might have in a condo or apartment.

I loved this elephant table when I first saw it on the Gypsy Soul Interiors Facebook page. I've started trying to rationalize that I can buy nursery furniture and save it for later use. Knowing this elephant is stashed away in a closet of mine for the future would make me sleep well at night, though probably leave completely jinxed.

These black and white drawings are gorgeous in person!

This chip and dip bowl came home with me...

as well as a pet lobster for my new bathroom. 

These framed prints were hilarious and would be awesome hung individually or as a set.

The last thing to make my eyes go wide in the showroom was this deer mold with a row of hooks beneath it. It took everything I had not to buy this and hang my necklaces off of it!

The warehouse sale runs from 9am - 6pm today. I highly recommend it! Scout Interiors just so happens to be next to Again & Again's former warehouse space, where they have a few pieces left that they don't want to move marked down to 50% off. This is Dallas amazing furniture finds history, people.

I love shopping vintage. My house feels so much more interesting and I feel like I saved a perfectly perfect piece of furniture from getting thrown away and put in a landfill. 

Happy weekend from Pancakes & Beet Juice!

The Great Bathroom Renovation of 2011: Wallpaper Stencil DIY

27 June 2012

This next weekend Markus and I are going to spend a glorious five day stretch spending some quality time together and renovating our powder bathroom! In anticipation of the before and afters to come, I share with you today the great bathroom renovation of 2011. (If you used to follow my Tumblr account, I apologize for the repeat post. Consider it me re-running some choice episodes before next week's big premiere a la your favorite Bravo programming.)

Although we thought we purchased a house together after we were married, in many ways it was a glorified 1980's Floridian retirement community condo.

Take the hall bathroom for example:

I see an episode of Seinfeld being filmed here where Jerry goes to visit his parents at their place.

Why was this being allowed to happen in Dallas? In 2010? Yeesh.

After much wallpaper scraping (and a few tears - as you can tell from the image below this stuff was NOT coming off)...

we were able to turn our hall bath into a life sized hamster cage.

We finally had a blank slate and were able to paint! I loved the idea of a pattern next to the colored tile but after taking down the original wallpaper there was no going back. Instead we ordered two different shades of Anna Sova food paint (Creme Fraiche and Flying Saucer) and set out to make our own pattern using a Benjamin Moore wallpaper stencil

Both the paint and the stencil were perfect choices for the project. Anna Sova paint covers very well and goes on evenly. Plus it smells amazing, doing a much better job of calming my frazzled, post-wallpaper scraping nerves then a gallon of VOCs. After painting our base coat of the lighter shade, we measured out the room for the stencil. We would spray the back of the stencil with some spray adhesive, stick it to the wall and go over it with a large stencil brush. We started with the larger areas first and cut the stencil down as we went to fit the borders and corners snugly. 

It was a lot of sore arms and too much math for my personal preference (measuring the stencil placement is where the engineer husband comes into play), but over a year later and I still smile every time I walk into the room! 

We replaced the vanity mirror with one we found at Home Depot. The sconces are simple Home Depot finds as well and hold fluorescent bulbs. 

One of my favorite additions to the room is the pair of hand cut silhouettes we had done on our honeymoon. I would love to have one done of Little Child one day to put below ours!

The larger mirror was a Craig's List find that I originally bought to resell. I love the shape of it across from the rectangular vanity mirror. 

Looking at these photos today reminds me of how much fun Markus and I working on projects like this. It is going to be a great weekend and I cannot wait to show the before and afters from the next bathroom renovation. If you thought the before shots of this room were bad, grab a stiff drink and guard your eyes for what I have for you soon. 

Curb Appeal

26 June 2012

As far as Mondays go, yesterday was le pits. (Quite literally - 104F in Dallas. Woof.)

Like most other online shopping addicts e-commerce enthusiasts, seeing a brown paper package tied up with, um, tape always brings some light to a rough day.

Speaking of light, here's a photo of my cheery new arrival.


The first doormat we bought when we moved into our house had finally worn through. Funny thing about the doormat market - they are either completely generic or completely overpriced. I was really lucky that while I was looking for a replacement, a sale for quirky doormats popped up on my account. With shipping our new addition to the front porch was $25. This is the second time I've ordered off of Fab and each experience has left me pleased as punch.

Of course the entrance to my hippie home features a doormat made from coconut husk and hand stenciled with eco-friendly dyes. Love it.

I think it goes great with my whale doorknocker from We Are 1976 and a leftover topiary from Sistah's wedding centerpieces.


Also in the mix is a tulip chair gliding bench that I bought at Lowe's last year and its buddy that was a birthday present from my best friend. Is there any better birthday gift than a vintage tulip chair rocker from Canton?

To counteract any warm and welcoming feel our patio may provide is our glaring no soliciting sign, since Markus will not have that shit.

See friendly no soliciting sign bottom left.
Add some street numbers so the UPS man can easily know where to place my online shopping packages and you've got yourself front porch. I love sitting out here after walks with Markus and Little Child and pulling up to a bright and homey view makes me happy to be back after a day at work or running errands!

Is there a part of your house that never fails to make you smile?

What's a must for your front steps: perky doormat, plants, someplace to take a good sit?

All the Cheesy Birthday (and Summatime) Songs

25 June 2012

I find it easy to get stuck on things. A certain new food or a boy turned husband, for example. Most summers I get just as easily stuck on a song. And since my birthday snuggles right into the high point of the summer (hellooo, July 4 weekend!) my summer anthems often double the song that lyrically defines the next year of my life.

There are songs from summers before that when they play now make me think about how I felt when I was turning 2- years old. Below are some of the songs of summers past that always make me smile now and the one that's been on repeat for me this month!

21 Years Old - "Life's Been Good to Me" by Joe Walsh

I spent June of my college summers in Dallas and July in Lubbock. I loved seeing Dallas friends for the perfect amount of time and then being back in Lubbock for summer school, pool days and nights of doing nothing. The intro of this song is one of the best of all time. I was lucky to know then that so many things about life were never going to get any better or more carefree than on those summer nights, and this song always takes me back to driving aorund Lubbock in my big, black hippie wagon!

23 Years Old - "My Own Two Feet" by the Old 97's

I moved back to Dallas, started an internship with a non-profit I really loved, got my first apartment (and Little Child!) and was engaged during this summer. The album for this song, Blame it on Gravity, came out the week that I graduated and I skipped my ceremony to move to Dallas and go to the launch party. I played this album non-stop all summer and this song was the one I sang with the most conviction. I always think about my short bob haircut and getting lost trying to drive around Dallas in my big, black car when I hear this song.

25 Years Old - "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac

Let's just say that I am way too introspective of a person to get through milestone birthdays without some kind of personal inventory and minor anguish. Landslide coming up on, I swear, every Pandora station I had as I drove to my job that I was not in love with did not heal the wounds of life transition. Thankfully my beloved coworker noticed me coming in with red eyes every morning and told me all about how life gets increasingly better on the other side of the twenties and told me to buck up and start listening to talk radio on my morning commute. I love listening to this song now because the transition to carefree co-ed to quasi-adult was rough but life now is my favorite chapter yet!

27 years old - "Learning to Fly" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

This summer totally rocks. I feel like I've been running ever since I got to Dallas four years ago and I'm finally gaining traction beneath my failing, pedicure-starved feet. Time and opportunities have tested theories that I had years ago and proven that I am right to trust my instincts. I'm around smart people, and my relationships are positive and bring me so much joy. I've learned that you can send love to someone while keeping your boundaries and standards, and that I prefer relationships of quality over quantity. Years of trying to stay frugal and working hard have suddenly put a big, bright light at the end of the tunnel for us and our plan for a family. And when I make a mistake - I'm only 27!

Best. life. everrrr.

Do you have a summer anthem this year?

Are there some songs that bring back the memories of a certain year in your life when you hear them now?

A Win at Bread Winners: Gluten-free Foccacia

21 June 2012

Last week I was talking to a friend about her newly adapted gluten-free lifestyle and told her "Life is easier when you stick to salads when going out instead of taking a gamble on a restaurant's new gluten-free product."

Of course only three nights later I rode my bike over to Bread Winners to try their new gluten-free foccacia and completely ate my words. I ate them all up and would have happily signed up for seconds.

Oh the gluten-free bun, what a run we've had together. While I appreciate the eateries that make an effort to have you around, you're often soggy, crumbly, tossed in the back of the walk-in and left to perish and then taken out and slapped on my plate without forethought or preparation. While I love what you stand for, you're more of a stand by than a first pick, saved only for when my friends want to meet at a burger place or sandwich shop that offers little else for my silly stomach.

My past history with gluten-free bread at restaurants set the bar low for me last night, but Bread Winners' reputation and my happy experiences there tickled my curiousity. I was excited to go in and be one of their first gluten-free girls. People who love food work at Bread Winners, so my service was exceptional as always and the manager and other waitstaff came by to see how I was enjoying their newest menu addition.

The official opinion of both Markus and I was:

Totally awesome! First taste was great. It has a true foccacia flavor and absorbed the pesto on my sandwich really well. Half way through our sandwiches Markus and I could not believe that it was still in tact, as this is almost never the case because restraunts don't realize that gluten-free bread that has been stored in a refrigerator usually needs to be toasted before serving. It was soft enough to take the flavors of the sandwich but a true artisan bread that gives you a good chew. I wanted to order three more slices and just dip it in olive oil.

You can get the gluten-free foccacia on your sandwiches and burgers at all Bread Winners locations for a $2.00 upgrade to the menu price. I love the quaint New Orleans feel of the McKinney Ave location for date night. The Inwood and Lovers outpost is just a bike ride away from our home. It's a good thing the staff is friendly because I think they're going to be seeing us quite a bit.

Adding to Bread Winner's local feel is their dedication to giving back to Dallas area initiatives through their Community Giveback program. As you scramble to set a date on your social calendar to go try this new offering, may I suggest a Tuesday night out, June 26, at the McKinney Ave. location benefitting Pencils of Promise? 10% of all sales from the evening are going straight to this phenomenal global education and health non-profit!

Someone please make me a t-shirt: "Will Eat [Gluten-Free] Carbs for Charity."

Latest Costco Loves

20 June 2012

Costco makes the world go 'round for two hippie homemakers and food eaters. There are so many home items and groceries that would not be affordable enough to make it on our list if they were not purchased at a lower price at Costco!

Summertime is when Costco really shines. I just overload myself of ginormous crates of organic blueberries, juicy mangos, ripe tomatoes for salads and burgers and oranges by the crate that I take to work each morning as a snack.

We shop the produce at Costco by what is in season and then have a regular list of what we pick up from the other aisles. I've outline the first part of our list here, but a few new favorites have made their way into the rotation. 

These sweet potato fries taste great and are so much faster than trying to bake an entire sweet potato in the oven. These are a regular when I go home for lunch and are awesome when sprinkled with a little sea salt and cayenne before putting in the oven!

The best moment on the Bachelorette this season was the poor young man who did not know how to pronounce Quinoa. This bag is a great buy since it is prerinsed, which will save you a lot of trouble and prep time!

Like Picasso's blue phase or a Kardashian's NBA player phase, I am obviously very much in my sweet potato phase of life right now. These are awesome as an office desk snack and give my beloved sweet potato a crunch factor.

It is so rare that anything in patty form is gluten-free, but these salmon burgers are safe and feature an ingredients list that I can almost entirely pronounce. I've fallen in love with adding protein to my salads lately and these are the perfect topping after being heated in the oven! (Next to my sweet potato fries. Mmmmmm, sweet potato..)

How do you try to save money while shopping for healthy foods? Are you a Costco kid?

What are some "must haves" on your grocery lists?

Marathon Dating: Good Records, The Vintagemoile and Chihuly at theDallas Arboretum

15 June 2012

Going out during the week is so not one of my specialties. There's just too much awesome stuff going on in the summer to pass up a well-placed week night date night.

The trick is to keep momentum.We run home from work, change and are out the door for a fun time before we can think about the venus human trap that is our big red sofa.

There's so much fun stuff to do and see in Dallas that any trip outside the home can turn into a marathon date for us. I suppose the mentality is, "If we bothered to wear real clothes, we might as well make it worth our while."

Our marathon date last night brought us to three of my favorite places in Dallas!

Good Records Astroturf Concerts

As I prosed before on the blog, I love Good Records on Greenville Ave. They are an outstanding local business that fights the digital download age by being more than a record store. Besides their great vinyl and CD collection, they do awesome promotions and in store events. Last night was one of their concerts on the Astroturf, which featured Rhett Miller of the Old 97's. It was fun to stop in as we made our way over to Lakewood and do a little record store dancing to some of our favorite songs!

To keep track of Good Records' in store promotions, events and concerts, like them on Facebook!

The Vintagemobile

We were so lucky that the Vintagemobile was parked in the Good Records lot! I can't stay away from a vintage store and the Vintagemobile always has a varied and well curated selection for women, men and children.

My treasure was this gorgeous flamingo cameo. Does it not scream Lilly Pulitzer to you? She probably wore it as she designed prints and shifts at her home in Palm Beach. Now it is mine!

The Vintagemobile goes to where the party's at. You can track them down on their Facebook page!

Chihuly and Concerts at the Arboretum

The last stop on the tour de dating was the Dallas Arboretum for their concerts in the garden night and to see the Chihuly exhibit. I had been specifically holding out to see the gorgeous glass until we could go at night. When we saw the Tom Petty cover band, Petty Theft, on the concert calendar in June we knew it would be worth the wait!

Some photos that I took walking around on my phone:

These crystals in the brook were some of my favorites!

As well as these lotus flowers...

The Arbretum also has "artist houses" up right now, inspired by the work and homes of famous artists. This is the Picasso house. How cute would a children's photo session be in here and amongst all the Chihulys?!

Of course I loved the water lily installment, even though a few were smashed in the hailstorm the night before.

Petty Theft rocked their concert set! Most people play it pretty close to the vest during Petty Theft concerts. Not I. My heart beats to the songs of Tom Petty.

After the concert the Chilhulys were all a glow, confirming that it was worth it to postpone our trip to see them until we could be there in the evening!

What are your favorite places in Dallas to hit up on date night?

Do you like to take dates one event at a time or just pile it on while you're already out and about?

The Big Salad: Making Your Own and Salata Review

14 June 2012

Do you have that one blog where you just can stand the thought of missing a post?

What? It's me? Awww...thank you, guys!

That is how I feel about The Fitnessista. Whether it's a family, fitness or food post I can never stay away.

I've been inspired by her beast salads lately. After swearing off home salads for a while (a gluten-free, mostly vegetarian eats a LOT of salads out, y'all...) I realized the missing element between the Fitnessista's home salads and mine was protein.

After eyeing the Gluten-Free Italian Breaded Sole in my freezer a crazy thought came to mind. My new favorite "big ass salad" was born.

Big @ss Salad Shopping List 
Choice of Organic Greens (my favorite is baby spinach - can't get enough!)
Choice of Fruit (please buy me a shirt that says "I love for Blueberry Season")
Annie's Organic Vinagerette
Udi's Gluten-Free Cranberry Granola
Easy to Prep Protein (this is a gluten-free Italian breaded Sole - yum!)

Heat the protein as directed. 
Throw everything else in your big @ss bowl. 

Prepare for gestational greatness...

If the dream big salad has a birthplace, it is definitely Salata in Dallas. This incredible build-your-own salad place is Markus and I's favorite spot to get some greens. Usually I am wary of salad places for two reasons

1. They give you a limited amount of toppings (maybe 6-8). Then you look at the delectable options and have to start picking them off your dream salad list. For a produce lover like me, it's a situation as traumatic as picking a favorite child and leaving the rest to die. 
2. You are set free to build the salad of your dreams, which will be charged a hefty fee based off of its final weight. You either build with such abandon that your entire week's dining budget goes to a box of lettuce, or you are so wary of the weigh-in that you shake in fear each time a new addition is added to the mix. 

At Salata you pay for the salad ($2-3 extra if you want a protein) and then are free to add to it WHATEVER YOU WANT. There is a myriad of choices and they are all yours. Yours for the takings.

If I start to get homesick at Salata I am soon comforted by their serving ware, which is identical to mine at home. Everything tastes better straight from a mixing bowl. 

What are your necessary additions to a big salad?

Do you have a favorite salad spot that never lets you down when eating out?

I Wanna Rock: Rock of Ages Review

12 June 2012

Last night Markus and I headed up to Plano for an advanced screening of Rock of Ages, hosted by I Heart Cinema! Nothing gives Monday a swift kick to the face quite like free movie passes.

Ready to rock in our favorite movie seats - front row with the bar to put your feets on!
I am a long time lover of musical theater and have been wanting to see Rock of Ages but I missed it when it came through town last year. The movie version definitey had all of the energy and excitement of a live performance - everything from the costumes to the coreography (and of course the hair) was big, big, BIG. I loved this movie!!

View the Official Trailer Above!

As much as not having seen the musical before diminished my street cred, I was really glad that it worked out where I saw the movie first. I thought the cast was absolutely exceptional. I have been a fan of Julianne Hough for a long time. Like, I might even own some of her dance fitness DVDs. The same goes for Catherine Zeta Jones, who was in a more supporting role than her incredible performance in Chicago but did not miss a beat as the mayor's wife with a past. It is so easy to see her musical theater background in her ensemble dances because she hits her moves perfectly every time! The high school theatre geek in me was completely awestruck.
Speaking of great performances, Tom Cruise as the iconic rockstar Stacee Jaxx was insanely fun. People have their opinions of Tom and his marriage but I just can't just on board with the haters. I would totally be Katie Holmes. If accepting a little scientology with my life of Sprinkles cupcake eating, taking my daughter to see Broadway shows and having my fashion line sell at Barney's is what a tortured life as Mrs Tom Cruise is like, chain me to the wall. Plus Tom and I have the same birthday, so, as he says in Rock of Ages, he's my "rock brother."

I have not had this fun at a movie in a long time. Maybe since my most memorable night at The Muppets, which coincidentally also featured Jefferson Starship on its soundtrack and was hosted by I Heart Cinema.

This movie has it all - laughs, singing, dancing, gay friendly (not family friendly, btw - think where rock went to die in the 90's as it waited to be resurrected by kickass fraternity guys two decades later...that's right, strip clubs and pole dancing a plenty in some Rock of Ages scenes). There is something for everyone in this fun film!

I Heart Cinema handed out Arsenal (the lead rock band in the movie) t-shirts to a few lucky attendees. Markus scored one and wore it to the after party (bedtime) where he dreamed rockstar dreams!

To get movie passes in the thirteen cities where I Heart Cinema hosts advanced screenings, like I Heart Cinema on Facebook or follow @IheartCinemanet on Twitter!

What's your favorite 80's rock song?

Are you going to go see Rock of Ages this weekend?

What's SUP, Dallas - Stand Up Paddleboarding on White Rock Lake and Bicycle Cafe

10 June 2012

Although it seems like we're never over there as much as we should be, Markus and I have a special love for White Rock Lake. We used to take Little Child to the dog park there when she was a small puppy and we had our wedding reception at Winfrey Point!

On our first anniversary we rented a canoe from White Rock Paddle Co. and took Little Child out to see where her parents celebrated their marriage. It was a great experience and I was so excited when White Rock Paddle Co started carrying rental equipment for the new water sport of choice (according to respected sources such as Us Weekly) - Stand Up Paddleboarding!

White Rock Paddle Co ran a Living Social voucher for Stand Up Paddleboards (called SUPs by the cool kids) and we've been working to find a spot in our schedule to go ever since we purchased one.

After reserving our SUPs online the day before our visit, we pulled up to the White Rock Paddle Co stand right before 7pm on Friday.

The guys helped us get our gear and provided a quick tutorial before launching us out on the lake. From there is was, well you know, smooth sailing!

White Rock Lake is the perfect spot for a first time paddleboarder. Since motor boats are not permitted on the lake it stays calm and it's easy to get a feel for the board and learn to turn around - or stand on your head while on the board if you are a total showoff my loving spouse. 

We paddled out to the middle of the lake and decided to link our boards together with our paddles and have a little conversation and meditation time. This is the Friday night happy hour scene I prefer!

After an hour of paddling around, I was ready for a hearty dinner! We packed up and drove over to Bicycle Cafe, a spot right off the White Rock trail.

I ordered a fresh squeezed spinach, carrot and celery juice and their famous quinoa bowl. The quinoa bowl is a big helping of the protein seed along with tomatoes, pineapple, bell peppers, onion and your choice of protein topping. I had mine with tilapia and Markus got the tofu.

Markus loved his bowl and mine was great as well! We both added some sriracha sauce which made me feel like it would be even better if served with a sauce. We both cleared our bowls without anything left over!

The best part of Bicycle Cafe was seeing all the cyclists and runners come in for a meal or cup of coffee. The place has a great feel. I loved the "taxidermy" handlebar decor!

Have you tried Stand Up Paddleboarding before?

What is your favorite water sport?

Do you crave a certain food after some quality lake time?
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