Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Best Holiday Gifts for 2017

Holiday Gift Guide 2017
Click the arrow to flip through the gallery of selections.


In addition to my work on this blog, I also freelance for several publications. This month, I was asked to help curate the Holiday Gift Guide for the Fall 2017 issue of Dallas Hotel Magazine. It was hard work... all of that shopping! I hope that you enjoy our selections. Happy holidays!

Holiday Gift Guide 
Dallas Hotel Magazine - Fall 2017 issue

The best thing about the holidays is that there’s no one way to do it right. Does your family open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Do you eat turkey or ham? Have a big holiday dinner or celebrate at lunch and then opt for a nap? Does you family go caroling around the neighborhood or make iced sugar cookies and Gingerbread houses? The holiday’s are always magical and full of fun traditions and the beautiful thing, is that every family has traditions that are uniquely yours. From high-tech gadgets to classic collectables, the options are endless when it comes to ways for you to shower your loved ones this holiday season. Dallas has a reputation for doing things BIG and the holidays are no exception. Look around the city and you’ll see this city is festively full of great shops and unique holiday gifts making it easy for you to make this holiday season one to remember. From ways to immortalize your pet to fashionable ways to keep track of your steps, incentive to learn a new instrument to the luxury of having a professional makeup artist pamper your on a regular basis - we’ve culled the options and are happy to spotlight a few of our favorite things to make your gift-giving a little easier this year. To view this publication online, visit https://issuu.com/dallashotelmagazine/docs/dhm_fallhol17_issuu


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Jenna Bush Hager Leads Discussion On The Importance of Community

Afternoon Tea with Jenna Bush Hager
Click to scroll through a gallery of images from this event. Photos c/o Ryan Ray


On Friday, September 29, Nextdoor Co-Founder Sarah Leary and Real Simple Editor-in-Chief Leslie Yazel welcomed local Dallas influencers to a Neighbor’s Table for an intimate conversation on the importance of community, featuring hometown special guest Jenna Bush Hager. The afternoon tea was initially supposed to be held at Neighbor’s Table founder Sarah Harmeyer’s home, but rain caused organizers to scramble, landing us at The Mansion instead. Not a bad Plan B. Nextdoor is a digital community, giving users the ability to stay in the know about what’s going on in your neighborhood—whether it’s finding a last-minute babysitter, learning about an upcoming block party, or hearing about a rash of car break-ins. There are so many ways our neighbors can help us and Nextdoor gives an easier way to connect with them. Guests included Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Meredith Land, Kellie Rasberry, Courtney Kerr, Candace Romo, and Bina Patel among others. Yazel and Leary led a table-wide discussion, asking attendees to share ways in which they’ve seen people be great neighbors? What did we consider a good neighbor to be? What ways can we cast vision for the importance of offline community as well as online? How have the neighborhood traditions of your childhood influence the decisions you have made as an adult in how you interact with your neighbors? What is the most important issue in your neighborhood? Needless to say, it was a spirited hour of conversation. I am looking forward to seeing this event will be featured in Real Simple magazine, as a part of Nextdoor’s ongoing commitment to building community at the local level.

#HelloNeighbor #NDxNT


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

West Meets Zen at new Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel

West of Zen Art at Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel
Photos c/o Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel


In addition to a comfy bed and a stiff drink, the new Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel also houses a curated collection of original works of art. The provocative and diverse collection of art underscores the hotel’s inventive and much touted West of Zen design theme. Hotel owner and developer, Sam Moon Group of the eponymous handbag and accessories empire, was resolute that the hotel’s design demonstrate sensibility to the Asian culture. The Moon family sought to honor their Korean roots in addition to extending warm hospitality to international guests traveling on business to the multinational corporations headquartered within the Legacy West corridor. Add to that, a key element of the Renaissance brand is to focus on the local and regional culture of their markets. The design criteria was ultimately distilled into a creative blend of north Texas/western influences and Asian culture which is manifested throughout the interiors, and most strikingly, in the hotel’s curated collection of original art. Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel guests and visitors are immersed in “West of Zen” visual art experiences throughout the property, original works commissioned by the Moon family.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Oh So Tasty: The Keeper

Photo c/o The Keeper via Facebook


Recently opened in The Shops at Legacy, The Keeper is a fresh, vibrant, casual and sophisticated. It offers an open kitchen, active bar and a fluid environment for both intimate and fun dining experiences. The bar is a premium rum bar with Tiki drinks and classics rewritten with a variety of rums. “We’re taking a lot of the recipes and flavor profiles you might associate with Tiki and applying it to our cocktail program. Some are classic Tiki drinks, but mostly its about taking that style and applying it to how it best fits our concept. So you won’t find the traditional volcano on fire or people jumping over flaming punch bowls,” General Manager Ryan Beard told Plano Profile. "A few items on the bar menu are The Keeper G+T, a Rum Old fashioned and a Mai Tai." With indoor/outdoor spaces, natural lighting, rum cocktails and an overall laid back atmosphere, the comfortable look and feel makes the restaurant and bar the natural choice for all occasions. Located at 5840 Legacy Circle (across from Mexican Sugar), Plano, Texas 75039, 469-210-5337, thekeeperplano.com



Monday, September 18, 2017

Tickled Pink with The Fat Jewish

Pink Party with The Fat Jewish
Photos c/o Thomas Garza Photography


Yesterday was a Sunday Funday like no other featuring The Fat Jewish, White Girl Rosé, and bottomless bubbles overlooking the best views in the Big D from the WET deck at the W Hotel. Among the partygoers were Kameron Westcott and LeeAnne Locken from Bravo TV's Real Housewives of Dallas and Sybil Summers from AMP 103.7 DFW. The Pink Party was hosted by Social Revolt Agency. Scroll through the gallery above for photos from the event.


From Funk to Disco, Night Fever Hits the Galleria



Opening September 20, Galleria Dallas will host an exhibition of fashion from the 1970’s titled Night Fever: Fashions from Funk to Disco.  Visitors at Night Fever will be transported back in time through a sensory explosion of music, light, video, imagery, and of course, amazing fashion. The exhibit will feature over 75 authentic garments and accessories from this iconic decade. Curated by Ken Weber of Vintage Martini, Night Fever will feature a diverse collection of American, French, Italian and Japanese couture designers, including work by Halston, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows, Giorgio Sant’Angelo, Hanae Mori, Yves Saint Laurent, Chloe and Roberto Cavalli. Many of the garments will be on loan from the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design Texas Fashion Collection, which is one of the world’s most coveted private collections. “This era of fashion was revolutionary in many ways,” notes Galleria Dallas Director of Marketing Martha Hinojosa. “This is probably the first full decade where women wore pants in all aspects of their life. Bright colors are everywhere and ethnic flavors surged with Moroccan themed capes and Hungarian peasant blouses. We are so excited to bring this collection to Galleria Dallas and share the vibrancy of this iconic era in fashion with our community.” Guests will enjoy seeing how fashion evolved during this era through the eyes of designers and made famous by the decade’s iconic social scene including Cher, Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, Liza Minelli, Farrah Fawcett and Diana Ross. ““The seventies are really so much more diverse than people realize. While everyone is quick to identify the disco-inspired fashions of Studio 54, it is important to remember that fashions were also influenced by the Vietnam War as well as the women’s and gay liberation movements," notes Ken Weber. “Diane Von Furstenberg has built an empire around her famous wrap dress, which hit the scene in 1974 and is still here today.”

WHAT:    Night Fever: Fashions from Funk to Disco
WHERE: Galleria Dallas Level One, South End
WHEN:   September 20 – November 1, 2017
TIME:     Tuesday - Sunday/Noon – 6 PM
PRICE:   Free


Friday, September 15, 2017

The Celebrity Perspective: Texas Edition with Cynthia Smoot



Ashley Berges is the syndicated talk show host of Live Your True Life Perspectives, and creator and host of The Celebrity Perspective, an Amazon Prime Series later this fall. Ashley is currently shooting a spin-off show called The Celebrity Perspective: Texas Edition and I was honored to be her very first guest! Ashley is a life coach and licensed therapist who has dedicated her life to helping others find their true purpose and authentic self. Her latest book, “The 10 Day Challenge to Live Your True Life” has become a guidebook for busy people who want to make valuable changes to their life. Ashley has appeared on NBC, ABC, CBS, CW33, Fox, Style Network and soon Amazon Prime. Ashley helps others to understand the value of their life and to offer them the necessary tools to create an honestly authentic and fabulous life. I hope you enjoy our chat!


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fashion Group International of Dallas Honors Angela Missoni At Annual Gala, Night of Stars

Angela Missoni to receive Lifetime Achievement Award
Image Source: Getty / Scott Barbour
Fashion Group International of Dallas (FGI Dallas) will host their annual Night of Stars on November 10, 2017 at the Hall of State at Fair Park. As in previous years, the glamorous event will honor individuals and businesses for their contribution to fashion and related industries with Career Achievement and Lifetime Achievement Awards. 

Angela Missoni will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Missoni is heir to one of the most famous fashion brands in the world and has emerged as a successful designer in her own right. She is the third child of Tai and Rosita Missoni, the co-founders of the Italian brand famous for its kaleidoscope and zigzag knits. Angela began assisting her mother in the conception and creation of the women’s collections at the age of eighteen. Today Angela is co-owner of Missoni S.p.A., along with her brother Luca. Beyond her role as creative director of the women’s collection, she assumes sole responsibility for the company’s style, including the men’s collection and licences. Angela is also totally committed to infusing the family brand with new energy. In just a few years, Missoni fashion has taken on a fresh new identity. As for the Missoni shows, they again mark important and popular occasions and make an authoritative, international statement in the communication of trends and ideas.

Friday, September 8, 2017

The State Fair Of Texas Offers A Secret Garden of Delights



Not all State Fair of Texas ticket holders realize that the Texas Discovery Gardens (TDG) and Butterfly House is open during fair hours and just a few steps from the Texas Star Ferris Wheel. TDG’s mission is to teach effective ways to restore, conserve and preserve nature in the urban environment, with a focus on organic and sustainable gardening. The not for profit garden houses thousands of unique butterflies in an enclosed environment designed to educate young and old alike. Texas Discovery Gardens is an organically maintained urban garden and the first public garden in the state of Texas to be certified 100% organic by the Texas Organic Research Center. The gardens are maintained using sustainable methods that conserve water and help to protect the environment. The grounds feature a two-story Butterfly House and a 7.5 acre organic botanic garden with native and adapted plants. This year TDG offers a change in scenery for those seeking a breather from the bustle.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Dallas Theater Center Presents the World Premiere of Miller, Mississippi



2017 Regional Theatre Tony Award® Recipient Dallas Theater Center presents the world premiere of Miller, Mississippi; a new play written by Boo Killebrew and directed by Lee Sunday Evans. In the south, tradition is sacred and change is slow, so when the Civil Rights movement comes to Jackson, Mississippi it’s in for a brutal fight. Spanning the 1960s and ‘70s, Miller, Mississippi tells the story of one family that falls apart as the country attempts to come together. In the classic Southern Gothic tradition, the world premiere of this tragic new play will stun minds and break hearts, as the personal and political combine to bring about the Miller family’s undoing. Beginning with a Pay-What-You-Can performance on Wednesday, Aug. 30 at 7:30 p.m., the production runs through Sunday, Oct. 1 at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre Studio Theatre. DTC’s Come Early, a pre-show lecture about the play, will take place one hour before every performance and DTC’s Stay Late sponsored by Wells Fargo, a post-show discussion led by a member of the cast, will take place after each performance. Support for Miller, Mississippi is provided by Presenting Sponsor Donna Wilhelm Family Fund and Executive Producing Partner Embrey Family Foundation. Tickets to Miller, Mississippi are on sale now at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org and by phone at (214) 880-0202.