Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Museum Shops

What's the best part of a museum when you're a little kid? The gift shop! Well guess what... that shop isn't just for grabby little hands to plead with parents "please buy me this thing I don't need"! Museum shops are actually places I love going to and love recommending... why? Because they are great places for gifts. Yes there are many shops with small overpriced items that no one really needs, like magnets and shot glasses and playing cards, etc. But among these trivial items, many times you can find great, unique gifts that you don't see anywhere else, like interesting jewelry, or local foods and spices, or handmade crafts. Keep an eye out in the kids' book section too, because many times you can find great educational books that you would never see at WalMart or the toy store.
Every time I'm in a shop with my mom I notice that she will make purchases for nieces and nephews... like children's books or puzzles... I've even seen the modern version of paper dolls aka magnetic dolls with different backgrounds and clothes you stick to them! I, myself, have purchased adult gifts like specialized art and photography books.
Chris and I went to the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum on Sunday in downtown Austin. We had never been and we were both surprised at how big it was inside and how much there was to see! After wandering for hours through the 3-level building, we hit up the gift shop. Chris bought me an amazeballs smelling candle, made in Fredericksburg, TX! It's a soy candle that smells exactly like the beach! After smelling literally every scent, this is the one I chose... summer's ending and I figured there's no better way to "stay" at the beach throughout the winter. So until the next time I'm relaxing on the sand of South Padre, I have my candle :-)
So don't forget... next time you want a unique gift, or just something local and interesting, don't forget those museum shops! Many times you can enter the store without having to pay for or see the exhibits, and I guarantee, you'll have people asking you where you bought that interesting something!
Thanks ,Chris, for my candle ;-) Love you! Happy shopping y'all! :-)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My design style

My friend Kristina and I had lunch at the Tea Room in the Lewisville Antique Store the other day! If you're not familiar with the Tea Rooms, there's a couple of Antique stores in the DFW area that have them! This was my first time to the Lewisville location, but I was just as impressed with my food! It's a great place for a quick, quality lunch, and a quiet relaxed atmosphere. The food is delicious... I had the chicken salad sandwich and a side of fruit... and of course, iced tea (I mean, it is a tea room!). Most adorable thing we saw... a young girl and her grandmother having a tea party, complete with old fashioned tea pot and fancy hat. Kristina and I could not stop talking about how sweet that was, and how much we still enjoy seeing children being CHILDREN and having fun, but at the same time, behaving remarkably and respectfully.
Just being in the Antique store made me think of my mom, and for perhaps the first time, I really REALLY appreciated the love of antiques that my mom has passed on. What used to be me tagging along behind her and looking at the boring "old" stuff, has now turned into me going to antique stores with my friends, browsing and admiring the gorgeous furniture. My appreciation has been growing over the years for more ornate and traditional design, and now it is stronger than ever! When I started college and began my degree, my taste was much more contemporary. I think part of me was rebelling against my mom's taste, just because I lived in her house with her style and once I was "on my own" I wanted style of my own.
But now I've come to understand the value in these antique stores. They are not just stores for older generations to shop and reminisce... it's important for my generation, and generations after me to see the value in these items... they come from an era when people cared about the work they did and the product they put forward. It was about making quality items that stand the test of time, not something that breaks every few years and you have to replace with a new one. Why is my generation so concerned with pumping out technology so fast, that nothing else matters? Why are people's eyes caught by glitz and glam instead of quality? Why are we all about a fast, to-go lunch instead of sitting with a friend or family member and really spending time together? Do you know how many people I know don't even get a lunch break at their job?! Too many.
This may not exactly be the most original post... not like no one has ever brought up this idea before... but really, does my generation care or not? Are you proud of the advances we have made or have we torn apart society where people don't even want to interact with each other and don't want to have furniture and clothing, etc that lasts? Am I truly "old-fashioned" for my ideas and likes, or is everyone else just too afraid to admit they miss when people cared? I miss people caring... I miss people having manners and being polite... I miss quality craftsmanship... I miss modesty and tradition... it wasn't THAT long ago...
It was really nice eating lunch with Kristina and browsing the store afterwards. We had our eyes on many gorgeous pieces of furniture, and I caught myself thinking how long that person spent on that piece and the love and sweat that went into it... and how unless people like me talk about this and pass on the respect we have for older generations and the beautiful labors of love they gave us, pretty soon everything will be crap that breaks. If my mom had never taught me anything about antiques and didn't proudly display them in her own home, where would my design style be today? Maybe I wouldn't have even studied interior design! My style has grown from a love of contemporary to an appreciation for eclectic design, mixing antiques and newer items. I can thank my mom for that. And I can't wait until the day when I have more space and I will begin my collection of antique furniture, just like my mom. I'd love to start with this piece, spotted at the Lewisville Antique shop on Friday... gorgeous Art Deco piece! I look forward to investing in my designs and not just filling my rooms with the design trends and redecorating every few years. Quality always wins!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I have to say my favorite accessory lately has definitely been bracelets! I love the trend of layering a ton of different bracelets together. This pic shows some of the silver i wear, but i still love adding in other textures like my handmade leather strap bracelet from the beach and my hand-woven colorful tribal bracelets that my dad got for me in Nigeria years ago! Mixing these with my normal, fancier silver and gold jewelry is really fun!
Try mixing patterned and detailed jewelry with more simple outfits that follow the color block trend! Make sure not to go too crazy and keep a few neutrals here and there ;-)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Teacher discount!

Since i have a lot of teacher friends, thought i would pass this along! If you're stocking up for your classroom, make sure to take advantage of this great deal tomorrow! Big lots is great... i can spend hours in there! Happy shopping :-)

Monday, August 6, 2012


Remember when you were younger & you insisted that you were & would never be anything like your mother? And then remember that first moment in your early 20s when all of a sudden it hit you... "Oh crap, I'm just like her!" LOL! The older you get, the more of those moments you have. But, the best thing about it is, the older you get, the more you realize how much of a good thing that can be!
I love my mom more than words & we definitely do have a lot in common, but not everythng! I had a moment over the weekend when I felt a rare "we're exactly alike" thought... and guess what triggered it... boy bands!
Saturday evening was a fun night I shared with mom & her bff Carolyn. We had steak & red wine at Ruth's Chris Steak House (best steak in Fort Worth! Seriously) and then it was off to Bass Hall to see 1964, a Beatles tribute band that has been touring for 28 years!! My mom was Beatles crazy in her teens, much the same way I was and still am obsessed with New Kids on the Block. And although the show wasn't the real Beatles, I saw my mom, in teenage excitement, sharing her concert story with the lady sitting to my right, and she in turn shared her story. They had both pleaded with their parents to see the concert and they both screamed through the whole thing, because that's what everyone else did! And as I listened I thought to myself how cool it was to hear their stories, and to think of the boy bands I've been "in love" with and how I know every song and how someday, hopefully, I'll be sitting with my daughter and she'll be listening to how I screamed and cried all through my one NKOTB concert I attended!
Saturday was a lot of fun! I think I sang along word for word with every song 1964 played, except maybe 3... I've been listening to the Beatles since I was a little girl... I love them because my mom loved them and passed on her passion <3