Thursday, January 31, 2013

Whatcha' snacking on?

I've always been one of those people who eats all day. I just feel better eating 5-6 small snacks rather than 3 big dishes. In an effort to continue fitting into all of my cute J.Crew dresses I try to make sure my snacks are healthy too! By no means am I a nutritionist, but here are a few of my reasonably healthy favorites:


Sabra Hummus Singles with

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps! Yum! I tend to favor salt over sweet and this combo just does the trick for me. BTW, if you've never tried pretzel crisps you're really missing out. I've heard the flavored ones are great too but I stick to the original.

Because I don't like the idea of using a plastic bag for everything, I use a little LunchSkins bag like this to carry all of those thin pretzels:


If I'm craving something sweet, my hands down favorite is a Fage CHERRY greek yogurt.


I am a total texture person. I hate regular yogurt, bananas and cottage cheese with a passion so I was really surprised that I could get behind Greek Yogurt. It's much thicker than regular yogurt and, I'm not sure if this makes sense, but not slimy. If I'm having an off day or if I need a little bit of carbs, I'll add a sprinkle of Archer Farms Granola and that usually does the trick.


And saving the best for last, my beloved Plum Kids Sammy Jammy's are always a great option. I have these things hiding everywhere- in my car, in my work drawers, in my work bag- because they are the perfect 'get me stable until dinner' snack.


I'm not sure how they do it, but these things actually taste like a PB&J without the soggy bread :0) At only 100 calories they are perfect when I'm feeling a little depleted but don't want a major snack or meal.

So those are my favorites. What are you snackin on?


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Because it's Tuesday.

And my daddy has king cake on a UPS truck headed my way.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy Birthday to Mr. Darcy!

Today is a great day. Not because it's Monday. Not because I snuck a Dr. Pepper in for lunch. And not because I ate cookies too. But because it's the 200th anniversary of the first Pride and Prejudice printing. Elizabeth Bennet is hands down my favorite book character, followed very shortly by her loving dad. While I've never day dreamed of living in their world, I'm happy to escape into it a few times a year. Never read Pride and Prejudice? Lucky for you it's in the public domain!

Lucky for us, Pride and Prejudice has also spawned some pretty amazing things- from book cover art to film to spin off novels. Here are a few of my favorites:



How STUNNING are those flowers???

The classic Penguin Cover


And the Pengiun Cover re-imagined for the Work of Art TV show.

Of course, no good book is worth it's salt until a film has been made. Thankfully there are several versions of Pride and Prejudice to suit your fancy, but my favorite is the 2005 Focus Features Film.


I could, and sometimes do, watch this version monthly. The cinamatography is so incredible and the light is some of the prettiest I've seen captured on film.

But wait, didn't I mentione spin-offs? Well, there's the ever popular


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but my favorite contemporary spin off is


Definitely not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos, which is enjoyable from start to finish. Just like the original. :0)


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra does Oz

This afternoon I had the pleasure of joining my friend Vicki for one of the best symphony experiences I've ever had:

The hubs and I have had the pleasure of attending a few Orchestra performances in recent years and have always thoroughly enjoyed them, but this really took the cake. The performance was part of the Pops Series and really highlighted the talent of conductor Ron Spigelman. To say that this was a feat of strength for the orchestra is no embellishment! 


The Orchestra played the ENTIRE movie score while the film and dialogue played along. It's really difficult to see in the photo below, but Mr. Spigelman conducted the Orchestra by monitoring the film via a small screen and clock located on his stand. The Orchestras timing was impeccable, but what impressed me most was the quality that live music added to the overall experience. 

Plus, how gorgeous is it to watch such a classic movie on a HUGE screen! If you ever have the opportunity to experience something like this I highly recommend it. Many thanks to Vicki for her generosity and for taking me!!

- DBC 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fresh Art Friday: Yago Hortal

Every once in a while I come across a young artists work that just knocks me speechless- Yago Hartal's work qualifies.


Hartal was born Barcelona and works primarily in either Barcelona or Berlin. He's only 29 and has already held major shows in LA, New York, Wisconsin, Berlin and his home town of Barcelona. The paintings feel pure and gestural and have such an amazing life. His recent work seems to be mostly acrylic on canvas, so I can only imagine the beautiful luster these babies must have.


                             Pieces names/numbers unknown but too pretty to pass up


I could stare at this ALL DAY. Gorgeous, gorgeous work that seems to take all the spontaneity of ab-ex and meld it with the colorful Spanish culture. Bravo.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My holy grail nail polish

I've previously mentioned that during our Vegas Vacay I was fortunate to visit the Vdara Spa for a pedicure. I chose to visit Vdara because of their commitment to natural and, if possible, vegan friendly products. It's safe to say that my pedicure there was the best I've ever had, but I left even more exited when I found out about SpaRitual nail polishes. SpaRitual polishes are special because they are DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde free, are vegan friendly and are made with 50% recycled glass.
Bismuth, part of the metal collection, was the color I selected for my Vegas pedicure. It is GORGEOUS on and lasted a very long time.

Yesterday, while trying out Hollywood Nails and Spa, I was happy to see that they sell SpaRitual products for just $5 each!  My husband always laughs at the fact that I change my nail color at least twice a week, so having polishes I feel good about using are a must. For this round, I picked up:


Inner sanctum, which is a lovely rose/nude and

Shower the People, which is described as a shimmer topcoat but I find more iridescent.

When paired they are beautiful and I'm so happy to know that I'm not harming the environment with my nail color choices. If you're not local you can also pick up SpaRitual at Sephora.

Here's to pretty!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Because it's Tuesday in the Nation

Awol gets me through Tuesdays.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?"
             - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On November 2, 1983 President Reagan signed a Bill dedicating the 3rd Monday of January to visionary civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King. In 1994, President Clinton expanded on our day of dedication to formally commemorate the day as a Day of Service, challenging our nation to volunteer in honor of Dr. King.

Here are a few of my favorite volunteer ideas in case you'd like to get in on the fun:

  • Become a Mentor to a low income, minority or first-generation college student.
  • Take a class or volunteer with the Red Cross.
  • Be a volunteer gardener with your area Food Bank.
  • Deliver much needed meals to elderly or homebound clients with Meals on Wheels.
  • Greet families taking parenting classes at your local Parenting Center.
  • Cook dinner for Ronald McDonald house families.
  • Help sort donated books at your local library.
  • Volunteer on the board of your favorite local charity.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that time given to your community is valued and appreciated.

Love your city today,


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fresh Art Friday a day late: DMA Late Night Review

We attended last night's Late Night at the DMA and had a great time! Here were my 4 favorite things, plus one caveat:

1. Free admission! Technically, free admission doesn't start until Monday, but I mentioned to the ticket guy that I'm a docent/member at the Modern in Fort Worth and he let us have tickets. Hooray!

2. The Brave Combo band was AWESOME! On paper, they sound maybe just a little bit crazy, I mean who dances to polka regularly?? But the dance floor was full and people were genuinely having fun. I even managed to get the Mister out to TANGO with me for a few minutes. Success!


3. Visiting new work: The show Variations on a Theme is on view through January 27th and features many works complimentary to the Modern's Collection. It was really nice to compare their viewings to some old favorites (please note their Francis is a bit darker than most) and to view some new artists. I particularly enjoyed the Japanese artists represented in 1 room. I was spellbound by this Shozo Shimaoto:

This is Untitled- Whirlpool, Shozo Shimamoto, 1965. It actually lives in the Rachofsky House, although I don't recall seeing it installed last time I was there. Shimamoto was bori in Osaka in 1921 and was a member of the avant garde group called Gutai. As a docent and art lover I am thrilled that Japanese works are finally making their way into big name collections and museums. Our world has so much beauty to gain and so many opportunities to be challenged by Asian works that I can't wait to see what crops up over the next 10 years.

4. The Late Night activities: We didnt' participate this time, but I did follow #latenight to check out the twitter scavenger hunt. It was hard! I love the idea of getting the general public off their rumps and exploring the collection or exhibits in an interactive way.

Overall, we had a great Late Night experience this go around. The crowds were manageable and I think Brave Combo alone would have made it for us. We did however have one rough patch- the dining.

Our experience this time was less than stellar and I'm sharing it not to be complain-y, but that we genuinely don't want you to be as disappointed as we were. We waited about 45 minutes for a table, then another 20 before being acknowledged by a waitress. Actually, we were never acknowledged by our waitress and just asked another waiter to take our order after waiting for the 20 minutes. The gnocchi, soup and cheese plate were generous portions but my husband reported the gnoocchi was tough and my soup was so salty it was inedible. The waiter never noticed an uneaten full bowl of soup and never asked how the food tasted. For a $40 meal we were really disappointed. Next time we go back we'll err on the side of caution and eat somewhere else.

I hope you enjoy the review of the DMA! The next event is February 15th.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

DFW Residents: It's a birthday celebration at the DMA for Late Nights!

The Dallas Museum of Art Late Night events are SO much fun, but I suspect that this Friday's event will be the best of them all.

Not only is the DMA celebrating it's 110th birthday, but it's also celebrating the recently announced free membership structure. What I love most about Late Nights is that it's a great event for everyone- there are family friendly activities and events for adults. The night kicks off at 6:00pm and continues until midnight. Make sure to check out the calendar of events before heading out so you don't miss anything!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My morning maker

For Christmas this year, we received the VERY generous gift of a Starbucks Verismo from friends. Unfortunately, it was not a good fit for us. We found the water tank to be limiting, the pod chamber to be messy and the cup holder to be awkward. So I started researching options and realized that we could exchange it at Bed Bath and Beyond for a machine that better fit our coffee needs. Enter my morning maker:

                         The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Official Store, CBTL-1003 Americano,

This beauty is the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Americano and my new best friend. This machine features a high AND low pressure system so it brews coffee and espresso with no problems. Add a 51oz water tank, a used capsule storage space that doesn't gross me out and a stand tall enough to hold a travel mug and I'm sold- or rather, it was sold. Plus, did I mention CBTL makes really awesome coffee and tea mixes?

My favorite morning blend is hands down the 10% Kona Brew. It's a smooth cup of heaven.

                   The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Official Store, CBTL-1038 10% Kona Blend,

Much to our delight, they also have a rockin' Hot Chocolate, Moroccan Mint Tea and a great Chai. If you enjoy coffee, espresso and tea I highly recommend checking out the Americano.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

2013 Golden Globe Favorites

I LOVE Golden Globe Fashion. It's fancy and pretty, but more wear-able (you know if you have a ball to go to and the budget for Dior) than the Oscars. Here are my top favs this year. All photos via HuffPost.

Kate Hudson in Alexander McQueen. OH Heaven. Heaven. Heaven. Kate Hudson is the PERFECT actress for this dress- rock and roll glam at its finest.

Jessica Alba in Dior. There's no denying that Jessica Alba's figure is flawless and this color is lovely on her skin tone. Excellent choice and a classic shape.

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior. First, I have to say that Jennifer is looking a bit on the skinny side and I think that she looks great with a few more curves. BUT this drop waist Dior is stunning on her. The red was on trend and the metallic belt kept it feeling fresh.

Nicole Richie in Naeem Khan. Another PERFECT choice. This blue is a great color for Nicole and she wears it like a boss.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fresh Art Friday: Sam Francis

I've always been one of those people that their mom calls 'artsy fartsy'. As an adult, I decided to further my commitment to the arts community by becoming a Docent at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. In my Artsy Fartsy Friday I hope to introduce you to an artist and a new piece of art!

                                             Sam Francis (1923 - 1994) Untitled, 1974. Acrylic on paper. 30 x 22 inches
                                               Sam Francis, Untitled, 1974. Acrylic on Paper. 

For the first Artsy Fartsy Friday I decided to start with one of my favorites: Sam Francis 

Francis was an American artist largely associated with the abstract expressionist movement. I love his use of color, space, and materials. Check out more here
Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Standby Party Dress for under $60

It's no secret that I love J.Crew. Their dresses, skirts and button downs comprise the bulk of my everyday wardrobe, but their event dresses have also made their way into my closet over the years. With a few spring events already on our calendar, I made my way over to their 'sale' dress tab today to check out the goods and was excited to see that all sale items are an additional 30% off through January 20th with the code 'Stylefind'.


I picked up the Lexa silk taffeta dress in 2 colors for under $60 each. With it's classic styling and gorgeous fabric, it's sure to become my stand by dress for those last minute cocktail parties or events.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Reading for pleasure

I read a lot, but unfortunately it's mostly divorce decrees. Whomp, whomp. So this year, I've decided to make reading for pleasure a priority and joined a Goodreads challenge to read 1 novel per month. If you're not familiar with Goodreads it's brilliant- you can list books that you've read, will read or are reading, review read books, see what your friends are reading and get fab book recommendations all in one spot.

I'd love if friends, family and blog readers would join me in the challenge to unwind and get lost in a good book. Bookshelf or virtual bookshelf empty? Here are a few of my past favorites to get you started:

                                                   The Dogs of Babel

Get out the tissues for this one. I haven't re-read it in a while, but every time I do I'm just dumbstruck. Beautiful.

                                                  The Book Thief

The Book Thief is one of the most imaginative, surprising and truly enjoyable books I read last year.


Totally my version of chick-lit. Who doesn't LOVE Tina Fey?????

                                                      A Girl Named Zippy

If you like funny books and can only eeeek out one book this year, read this one. Hilarious, but especially funny for those small town kids.

                                                The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guensey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is an easy, pleasurable read and beautifully written. If you love history books and handwritten letters this one is for you.


I read Middlesex for the first time in 2007 and it still ranks as one of my favorites.

                                               Running with Scissors

If you enjoy a dry sense of humor, Augusten Burroughs just might be your man. The movie is as hilarious as the book and perfectly cast, but do yourself a favor and read the book first.

So what are your favorites?

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