Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Fall FUN Family Date in Celina & Frisco!

Well Hello North Texas!  Fall is here and it is THAT time again...time for the second in our series ______ Night Out In  ______, only this time our date night is F for family, fall and FUN!  We can't think of a better way to spend an autumn afternoon than with a trip to the Big Orange Pumpkin Farm in Celina and with a down-home, yet modern meal at our latest and greatest FAV spot, Barnlight Eatery!  Keep reading for fun fall scoop!

The Big Orange Pumpkin Farm has long been a lovely October tradition for me and my little one. 

We have tried several other pumpkin patches over his infant-toddler-preschooler years and Celina's is our family's top pick... certainly worth the drive.  The experience is so fun; a sure peek into farm life replete with farm animals from serene longhorns to silly goats.  Patrons are met with rows and rows of pumpkins in various stages of growth....makes for a real "hands-on" discussion of the pumpkin life cycle.  Visits are rounded out with a super-fun tractor-pulled hayride, feed for the animals and a pie-pumpkin of your choice. Hours are:  M-F 9am-6pm and Sat- 10am-6pm and Sun 12pm-6pm and they are open through November 2nd! The Big Orange Pumpkin Farm is located just off of Custer in Celina. Weekday trip or weekend trip YOU decide, but, be CERTAIN to follow your visit up with a meal at the Barnlight Eatery in Frisco! This is a lovely find that the Urban-Mr. and I are so happy to have discovered.  Billed as a modern, southern restaurant steeped in Texas tradition, this mission permeates not only the menu selections, but the decor, the food, the drinks and the general atmosphere.  I had the privilege of meeting and chatting with the chefs/owners on both our first and second visits.  It is clear to me that this husband-wife duo are passionate about sharing the best of what Texas style dining has to offer. Their inspiration is drawn from chef/owner Philip Doyal's grandmother's recipes.  Make sure you read just how Barnlight Eatery came to be on the ABOUT tab on www.barnlighteatery.com

Some of our FAV picks:
  • handcrafted cocktails- The lavender lemon martini and the whiskey thyme are both refreshing and delicious.
  • buttermilk fried green tomatoes with crayfish remoulade 
  • southwestern salad was super fresh, flavorful and a good foil to our fried appetizer ;)
  • steak & egg open faced sandwich-The hubs could not get enough of this creation, certainly a nod to owner/chef Philip Doyal's family inspiration!
  • key lime pie- was, well, divine!!  Not too tart, but not too sweet. It was a delicious balance of tart, citrus and sweet.  Owner/pastry chef Christina Doyal pours the love into her handmade in house desserts and confections!
By the way, don't let the phrase handcrafted cocktails scare you away from a family dinner. Barnlight Eatery has a great patio and wonderful children's menu that seems carefully chosen to make this place a hit with kids and parents alike!  Our trip included the wee-Urban and all three of us were quite pleased.  An Urban-date night is on the books for the near future, too!  The Barnlight Eatery is located in Frisco, just off Eldorado, slightly west of Custer.  GO!!!  You'll love it!

P.S. We hear the brunch is pretty unbelievable!  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

For more great design ideas and articles such as Curating Your Style, browse D Magazine's On The House by Mark Molthan......

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

FAB Design Blog FOUND!!!

Click on over to D Magazine's Home / Design Blog, by following the link embedded in the photo above, sponsored by Mark Molthan, of Platinum Series Home. Get this, the blog's tag line is a daily conversation about pretty people, places and things.  Well, draw me in. I LOVE pretty places and things....the people, I suppose to each his own.  But seriously, check out the content.  Great stuff, especially if you are wanting to update, remodel or just refresh your space.   The advice is surprisingly practical and not as chi-chi as I would imagine.  The site even features a quiz to find your design aesthetic....LOVE!!!  Two thumbs up!  Enjoy!

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Word to the Water-Wise....

As Benjamin Franklin said, “A penny saved, is a penny earned.” A similar sentiment could be said about water conservation.  Save and ration thoughtfully seems like a good principle to apply to residential water use.  Check out some of the tips and links below for more great information. 

  • ·        As always, it is a good idea when considering what to plant, look to native species which are rated as drought tolerant.  
  • ·        Contact the experts at Treeland Nursery for recommendations on drought tolerant tree species.  
  • ·        Read up on rainwater collection barrels and make your own.  The City of McKinney provides a DIY make your own rain barrel class on 9/30.  Follow the link for details or for other home owner educational classes. 
  • ·        Purchase some soaker hoses and hand spray nozzles to make keeping your foundation “summer healthy” a priority. 
  • ·        Check local home improvement stores for gardening tips to make sure you are using water-wise “best practices.”  
  • ·        The City of Plano offers Live Green classes.  The selection includes topics such as live sustainably and water basics.
  • The City of Frisco provides a link for FAQs on Drought

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Date Night in McKinney

THIS Urban-Mama is starting a new blog series here on Housing Cents.  _______ Night Out in ________.  Well that gives lots of information, doesn't it?  TEEHEE, think of  it as sort of an itinerary for fun!!  Each post will focus on a date night, guy/girl night, or family date night out in one of our FAB communities right here in North Texas.   It is SO easy to get in a rut and elect to do the same old thing for fun.  Our leisure time is precious, so why not try something NEW and hip and local and AWESOME!!  There really are so many choices, but don't worry....I've got this.  All YOU have to do is read this fancy little blog and decide what sounds fun.  Simple right???  First up, DATE NIGHT in Downtown McKinney.  Enjoy!

We all need a little time away from the distractions of home to recharge with the one we love, right?  Well, here's an idea for just that.....

Cafe Malaga just off the square in Downtown McKinney, if a FIND!!  It is a tapas restaurant that just might make you feel as if you are whisked right off to Espana!  This divine little spot is housed in what once was a craftsman styled HOME.  You can feel the patina of charm from over 120 years of life as you are seated in this quaint little restaurant. The menu is varied, something for everyone...those who crave a bit of adventure and want to share "little plates of food will be in heaven, however for those patrons that wish to order a full meal, there are plenty of choices that will delight.  If you are not familiar with the concept of tapas, well, then, here is a brief explanation for this layperson...

The Spanish word tapas directly translates in English as -to cover.  The concept is to order MANY different plates of food, each with just enough for diners to have a few bites.  The thought is that you can enjoy an entire meal, but in a more communal way, encouraging conversation and sharing.  

Anyway, the Mr. and I just enjoyed a WONDERFUL anniversary meal at Cafe Malaga and YES, the selection of tapas we chose was quite enough for even HIS liking.  

Urban Picks:

  • Pan Con Tomate with Manchego Cheese, oil, garlic & tomato rubbed bread and slices of wonderful Spanish cheese
  • Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers-
  • Sauteed Mushrooms- AHHHHMAZING!!!!
  • Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
  • Lamb Lollipops- this one is a rec from the Mr. He said it was a must. 

Bonus:   The waitstaff is pretty awesome at making wine paring recommendations with your tapas.  

EXTRA Bonus:  Every Friday & Saturday Night boasts LIVE music in their extensive and FAB outdoor patio.  

For a lovely sweet treat to end the evening, stroll back through the square and meander your way past the unique shops, (one of which we found that sells ONLY Star Wars toys, action figures and yes, the even the Millennium Falcon) to  Emporium Pies.  This little treasure makes its way  to Downtown McKinney via Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff, and OH HOW fortunate McKinney is for that!!!!  This specialty pie shop hand-makes all of their pies in house with all natural ingredients, no artificial preservatives, hydrogenated oils, dyes, or corn syrup. All offerings change with the seasons. 

Bonus:  The shop transports you back to simpler time when you little,  had no cares,  and you were spending a hot, Texas summer evening with your beloved Grandmother, enjoying a homemade, from scratch slice of pie. 
EXTRA DOUBLE Bonus:  You can also find Emporium Pies at the McKinney Farmers Market.  YUM!! 

Urban Picks:

  • HIS-Mellow Yellow-Gingersnap Crust with Light Lemon Chiffon Filling
  • MINE- Smooth Operator-French Silk Chocolate with Pretzel Crust

Fine Pies for Fine Folk- and yes, they are!!!  Delicious and worth every calorie.  

Check back next week for a FUN, FUN FAMILY Date Night in Plano!!!

Check back often for blog posts featuring area communities and other worthwhile real estate reads! 

Thank YOU for reading! If there is a topic you would love to read about, please, email me at curban@kw.com 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Have You Met.....

Tucker Hill?

This pastoral neighborhood is located in McKinney, Texas.   Upon entering its elegant streets, you feel as if you are whisked away, to another time, but, the charming homes are NEW construction.  Some may say, it is the BEST of both worlds, new-old homes!  Many of the elevations are inspired by pre-war construction.  In fact, the developer's vision was to model a new neighborhood on the principles of a thriving, established one.  Tucker Hill has many amenities and it is planned around mature trees, a green space, walking trails, a playground and dog park.  In addition, the front porch plays a dominate role in the architectural style of the community, in essence, the goal was to bring back that front porch lifestyle from a time gone by.  Southern Land Company, the developer of Tucker Hill, tasked Darling Homes, David Weekley Homes and Tim Jackson-Custom Homes with the goal of creating an architectural style for individual homes which also relates to the larger neighborhood.  This architectural principle helps to define a community, also reminiscent of a by-gone era. Just strolling along the streets makes you feel nostalgic.  What could be better than  enjoying the charm of yesteryear WITH all of today's modern luxuries??

Tucker Hill is located just north of 380 in McKinney, Texas, but its students are served by the Prosper Independent School District. 

Check it out today......AND don't forget to call Pat or Nancie to help you write your offer!!! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Father's Day???

We've got you covered!  Check out some of these great ideas:

For some great gift ideas, check out our Pinterest board, DAD's RAD

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Get To Know Plano....

Here are a few promotional videos to help you learn more about this great city!

 A Great Overview

A Bit of History As Well As The Parks & Rec Department

Historic Walking Tour
A Bit Dated, but the History is GREAT!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Three Squares...Um, YES Please!

It is a well-known fact that this Urban-Mama has made it her mission to get to know her still-kind-of-new-to-me surroundings.  I've blogged about that quest before! ;) So, I feel sort of convicted to share when I discover something new to love in my community.  So here it is folks, my latest love......

Let's face it....dining out is a treat, a luxury, a little sometimes-gift you give yourself and your family.....amiright?? Three Squares IS that little gift.  It is charming and funky and a little slice of realness served with delish all at the same time.   When The Original Urban and I moved here, we longed for an establishment that was not a chain. A place that served unique and thoughtful menu items, yet fit the bill for a family date night, all near our new hood.  Volia! We found a contender.  

Our ventures to Three Squares total 4-ha, but our interest was piqued on visit #1.  We immediately liked the food and the atmosphere.   On trip #3, we had the pleasure of meeting Josh Babb, the owner, also of Kenichi Dallas.  He explained that he was passionate about serving people. It was clear to us that ensuring his customers had a great experience is paramount to him.  The decor is so fun and inspired that it plays well in the space and off the menu.  I love, no I super-love design so I asked him what inspired him to decorate his space the way he did. It was more about feelings, when he spoke with his designer, he stated he loved orange, wanted a similar vibe to the [hipster] spaces in Oak Cliff and he loved reclaimed wood. Poof, it plays!  

The menu is FAB.  There are offerings for carnivores and vegetarians alike.  Date night and family-friendly outings both seem equally at home at Three Squares.  There is a menu, but you order at the counter, then the food is brought TO YOU.  Here's the rundown of our menu selections from 4 Trips, but for a more varied look, see for yourself and browse the menu...better yet, go in for a visit and ENJOY!!!!  We always do!  

Trip #1- lunch date with the Mr. 

  • Me: warm spinach salad & sweet potato fries with smokey ranch...a must, as you will see!
  • The Mr: steak out burger...more than just a burger it's gourmet, a foodie's dream y'all, flat-iron steak, caramelized onions, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, horseradish aioli all on a brioche bun
Trip #2- lunch date with a dear mommy-friend and five, yes, FIVE children
  • Me:  repeat...boring I know, but OH-SO-GOOD
  • Mommy-Friend:  Rajun' Cajun salmon Caesar, she LOVED it!
  • Kiddies- a various orders of grilled cheese, sweet potato fries and chicken strips..gobbled up
Trip #3- lunch date with the folks
  • ALL: warm spinach salad and sweet potato fries
Trip #4- date night with the Mr, before a concert
  • Me:  Vegetarian's Revenge Burger {!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!} and...wait for it, sweet potato fries, and their seasonal blueberry margarita-LOVED it!
  • The Mr:  Reese's Peanut Butter Shake, which didn't last long at all, and the steak out burger with tater tots with horseradish aioli 
  • To Share: brownie cheesecake <3
If you are lucky enough to enjoy a Friday lunch out, ask for Josh, the owner, so you too, can hear all about his wonderful establishment and his commitment to good, crafted food!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Summer Flicks to BEAT the HEAT!!!

Summer Movie Series at Studio Movie Grill- Check out the side bar to select the series of interest to you.

  • Family Rewind- a retro family series with pizza specials
  • Children's Summer Series- $2 tickets...yes please!
  • Brews-N-Dudes
  • TOONS!
  • Girls Night Out

Cinemark has a similar promotion in which they feature a kids'summer movie series, called the Summer Clubhouse.  You can purchase tickets in singles or in a bundle for the entire series.  

Friday, April 25, 2014

Online Retail Therapy- Some of Our FAVS

Are you all about a good deal? Do you LOVE finding that perfect little something? Check out some of these lovely little online retailers for your next retail therapy session. Happy shopping y'all! 

groupdealz- jewelry and personalized gifts
etsy- hand-made, hand-crafted whatever you can think of.....and it's really lovely, to boot!
stella & dot- FAB jewelry, bags & scarfs
joss & main- posh, eclectic furniture & home decor
wayfair- traditional furniture & home decor in just about every price range
the vintage pearl- lovely hand-stamped jewelry
jo malone- divine perfume & lotions,soaps & home fragrance
birch box- cosmetics & lotions
jo totes- purse/camera bags to protect your precious lens
woot- you name it, one item at a time
mamabargains- you name it, one baby/child/maternity/family item at a time

Some of these retailers require you to "join" their mailing list, but that requires nothing more than an email address.

PRO TIP- I.O.Metro has "brick & mortar" locations, but they have a design blog, a Made In The USA section, and Eco Section, as well as a Free, In-Home Design Service associated with their online site.  From where we sit......that is pretty awesome!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Water HQ

2014 Long Range Summer Prediction:  
"Summer will be hotter and slightly drier than normal, with pockets of major drought likely. The hottest periods will be in early July, mid- to late July, and early to mid-August. Hurricanes should stay east and south of Texas. September and October will be drier than normal, with temperatures above normal in Texas and below normal in Oklahoma,"  according to the 2014 Old Farmer's Almanac.  
Learn how you can combat our predicted dry, hot summer with information on rain water collection and irrigation techniques.  Check out the following links for some great information:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

KW To Go!

Do YOU have the KW Mobile App on your tablet or smartphone?  If not, what are you waiting for????  Get busy searching on the go!!!

THIS Month In Real Estate

Are you curious about the current trends in our Real Estate market?  Watch and learn!  If you want to see more.....visit our website, www.teamprzada.com each month for new videos!  Check back soon for the April 2014 edition.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Do You Bonnaroo?

Say what? Music festivals are quite an experience and NOT for the faint of heart.  Most of the time, they are weekend-long line ups of some of the most popular, or nostalgic acts in the business.  I've certainly attended a few in the past and I am toying with attending a portion of one in the future.  I think this UrbanMama is past her day-long, much less weekend-long concert-attending-prime.  Here are a few of the most buzzed about festivals and links to them, if you are so inclined to attend.  Who knows, you may find it as a great excuse to take a trip and explore a new city!  Now that's always fun, right?

SXSW- Austin's own South by Southwest.  This occurs in March each year.  It is a con-flux of what's happening in music, technology and film.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival- Jazz Fest highlights the rich music history and cuisine New Orleans has to offer.  I have it on great authority, from The Original Urban, that this is a great time!
Suburbia Music Festival- This one is right here in Plano, y'all, and it is the inaugural year.  It might be a great time making some memories AND history!  Fun Fact:  The House of Blues in Dallas is hosting a battle of the bands in which the winner will be added to the line-up of the Suburbia Festival.
Lollapalooza- Once a traveling show...(I know, because I attended it at the old Starplex YEARS ago People!!?!!), is now based in Chicago.  Billed as more than just a music festival, Lollapalooza takes place in Grant Park and boasts both a farmers market and gourmet offerings in addition to some FAB music!
Bonnaroo- 13 years strong, this four-day long music and arts festival is held yearly on a farm in Manchester, Tennessee.  Bonnaroo brings eco-chic to new levels with a learning garden, filtered water and a carbon shredding program for festival patrons.
Beale Street Music Festival- Is part of a larger festival, Memphis in May International which is a collection of events, including the Beale Street Music Festival. Memphis in May International Festival is also a community based organization, not-for-profit that contributes to the city's economic growth.
Austin City Limits- This festival gets its name from the PBS concert series.  The festival is hosted in Austin's own Zilker park.  Austin City Limits has a more family-friendly approach with its Kiddie Limits kidzone, complete with an instrument "petting zoo."

Friday, February 28, 2014

Personalize with Custom Artwork---Yes, You CAN do This!

·In keeping with the trend of Design In The Real World in this month's newsletter here are some ideas on adding personalization to your home using custom artwork. Custom Artwork???   Whoa…hold on now.  I’m not suggesting you commission an artist or drop the equivalent of a college education to decorate your home with expensive custom art.  I am merely suggesting that you find things that speak to you and use them as artwork.  Purchase some acrylic paints and some canvases from your local hobby store, Hobby Lobby happens to be our favorite haunt, and let your kids go to town.  If you choose the paint colors to compliment your d├ęcor, then you will end up with an uber-personal masterpiece that compliments your space.  Photography is another homerun IMO.  Use photographs you love and decoupage them to a canvas 

      or place an order with a canvas photo printing company, like The Canvas People.
      Family rules signs are another way to decorate in a personal way.  You can search "family rules sign in handmade on www.etsy.com 

    THIS is my next art project.  

      It is typography print involving dates.  Each date is significant to our family.  Talk about custom and personal!  

      None of these ideas break the bank, but they give oh so much for the dollar, and besides the art on the walls of your home should bring you joy and evoke memories...a la personalized design.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Crazy Like A Preservationist! Oh Yeah!

Are you NUTS-CRAZY for historic homes like this Urban-Mama?  Well, if so, then this is THE post for you.  

To get your retro, transom, gables, corbels, estate, porte-cochere, beautiful oak built-ins, butler's pantry, period detail FIX...check out Preservation Dallas at www.preservationdallas.org 
This is a wonderful site.  It is maintained by a wonderful organization dedicated to protecting the history of Dallas neighborhoods and historic buildings.   "Preservation Dallas is a nonprofit membership organization. We champion initiatives to protect the history and culture of neighborhoods and historic buildings throughout the community, enhancing the quality of life and economic development of our great city."  Let me just say...I've spent hours, HOURS people {!!!} on this website reading about many of the different historical Dallas neighborhoods.  Inquiring minds can even read all about Urban Armadillos....NOT what you are thinking, but actually quite intriguing.  

You can bask in all the glory of  these grand old homes during the Annual Swiss Avenue Home Tour.  The date for  2014 is Mother's Day weekend, May 10th & May 11th.  What a lovely treat for MOM!!!! Quality time and time spent learning about the Swiss Avenue Historic District and the beautiful homes it works to protect....that's a bargain!  We will be there, will you?  Keep watching the Swiss Avenue Historic District's Website for details. 

The Hollywood Heights & Santa Monica neighborhood also has an annual historic home tour that occurs with The Art in the Park festival.  The predominate style in this gem of a neighborhood is Tudor, but other styles abound for equal opportunity obsessing!!!  Are you with me TEAM-PRZADA Fans?   April 26 & April 27 are the dates for 2014 in Hollywood & Santa Monica.  Listen...this is one not to be missed, it is complete with local artists exhibiting their work and Food Trucks!  

If you really want to become an expert on historic real estate and share your knowledge on said home tours, check out A Field Guide to American Houses:  The Field Guide to Identifying and Understanding America's Domestic Architecture, by Virginia Savage McAlester.

If historic residential architecture is not your bag baby, well, here is another option, all
within our city limits.  The Dallas Arts District conducts group or private walking tours of Downtown Dallas.  "The Arts District has been a thirty year plan in the making and now boasts buildings by four Pritzker Prize-winning architects within a span of several blocks. The district’s architectural richness extends beyond that, however, with examples of significant buildings erected as far back as the late 1880’s, just 40 years after Dallas’ founding. We will explore the history of the buildings and the culture of one of Dallas’ most interesting neighborhoods".  In this Urban-Mama's humble opinion, Lost Dallas by Mark Doty would be a great primer or companion for this tour.  In his book, Doty explores those lovely lost buildings, places, and neighborhoods that inevitably came and went before an appreciation for their significance could make landmark status a possibility.   
On a side note,while in Downtown Dallas with your exploring shoes on.....Old Red Museum at The Old Red Courthouse makes for a lovely weekend afternoon exploration, if, you so desire!  

So now, I suppose the cat's out of the bag.   I've let you in on just a bit of the crazy that is my passion for historic architecture. Who knew you could find so much of it as well as the resources to help you explore it right here in Dallas.  I did!  ;)  I hope you enjoy!  

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Personal Design IS KING!

TOP 2014 Home Trend: Personalized Design.

The "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality is giving ground to personalized design that reflects the needs and design aesthetic the residents.  In 2014, people will actively embrace the role designer in order to create a home that is truly one of a kind.  "We're at a fascinating point in the evolution of the interior design process. Interior design professionals one ruled the roost, but that's all changed with design TV, blogs and the Internet," says Elaine Griffin; New York interior designer and author of Design Rules.  "Clients today are well educated and have taken back the power.  They're so knowledgeable that they're doing it themselves."

Below, find her tips to make the most of YOUR design story:

  1. Research and Check Twice-  Take the time to properly research and educate yourself in order to get the result you wish to achieve.  "You want to know what your options are in terms of price, value, quality, design and style," Griffin said. "What's returnable, what's not? Always measure twice and buy once.  You only have one option when you are going custom."
  2. Customize Visible Features-  Griffin suggests investing in highly visible features in your home.  For example, window treatments and lampshades are highly visible features of the home, but are all too often ignored.  This is an area for high impact and bang for your buck.  "Always remember to take the lamp with you when shopping," according to Griffin.
  3. Customize Color- Numerous paint manufactures offer technology that allows you to achieve a perfect match between paint and that one-of-a-kind item you have.  
  4. Salvage and Tell- Using salvaged materials in a renovation isn't only green, it's also an opportunity to incorporate your family's history.  "We've always loved our heirlooms, but now we are looking at recycled and salvaged pieces in a different light."  said Griffin. 
  5. Don't Overlook the Ceiling- "The ceiling is the second biggest real estate after the floor...don't neglect it." Griffin said.  "Especially in small and awkward spaces, like the foyer or power room, stair hall.  Add a striking color, install wallpaper or add beams."  
Quick Tip- paint or a distressed finish is a quick way to add interest and character to that vintage piece, or even a big-box store purchase.  See TEAM-PRZADA, Housing Cents blog posts on chalk paint and distressed finishes for How-To Info!  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

White Walls....Snore...Snore...Yawn.

Flat, white painted walls are so over...color is king.  According to Huffington Post, "there are six great paint colors that will work in any home".  Golly, that's motivation enough to leave the white walls behind and start warming up your abode.  Read on to know which paint will make you happy...happy. Follow the above link to see these photos and more.

1.  Perfect for Commitment-Phobes:  Manchester Tan by Benjamin Moore, according to color expert, Sharon Grech, "this neutral paint is akin to an off-white, not gray or cold and not a boring beige."  Try it in: the kitchen.
2. Great Blue:  Behr Premium Paint, Cloisonne Blue, this soft blue sports hints of gray, a real "crowd-pleaser."  Try it in: bedrooms or hallways
3. Great Gray:  Benjamin Moore, Rockport Gray," timeless but this one has warm undertones to create a cozy feeling." Try it in: living room, kitchens and home offices. 
4.  Best Calming Color:  Sherwin Williams, Sea Salt, "sage green hues tend to work like a neutral, while still adding a little color to your space."  Try it in:  bedrooms, home offices, dining rooms and kitchens.  
5.  Most Flattering For Skin Tones:  Benjamin Moore, August Morning, "this golden apricot flatters every skin tone."  Try it in: a small bathroom.
6.  Best "Dramatic"Color:  Sherwin Williams, Tea Chest, "deep chocolate brown can go in pretty much any room, it sets off textures such as wood and textiles without being obtrusive."  Try it in:  living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms.

Photo Traditional Dining Room by Covington Tile, Stone & Countertops Palatial Stone and Tile, LLC

Traditional Living Room by Charlotte Interior Designers & Decorators Carolina Design Associates, LLC

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Warning! Realness Ahead.....

I have to level with you, dear reader, I know....I know... I seem like this uber-hip-in-the-know-UrbanMama. Well, here is my confession....I am, but only sort of!!!    Before I had a child (the love of my urbanlife) I had time and ENERGY to go out and explore and deliciously discover all of the FABulous spots I write and post about.  Now.... let's just say that I am IN THE KNOW if it has anything to do with the preschool set. For example, riding the McKinney Avenue Trolley {for free...mind you}, exploring Klyde Warren Park and the food trucks, or anything else I can sell to my 4yo is my game these days.  However, as a New Year's resolution...my UrbanHubby and I will make it a point to find our own hip spots worthy of sharing.  So here is our first pick...The Hospitality Sweet.  It is a lovely little cafe in downtown Dallas, right along the DART RedLine.  400North Ervay, an Historic Post Office and Courthouse, recently converted into stylish lofts, to be exact, has a pretty rich history in its own right.  Anyway, back to my little review.  This place is a perfect lunch spot on a leisurely day.  Delicious and it is a bit romantic in that urbane sort of way.  The food is spot on and while there, you get an ambiance that hearkens back to a time, that I would imagine, downtown Dallas was all hustle and bustle, brimming with the work crowd and busy shoppers. The Hospitality Sweet is literally a few steps off DART's St. Paul Station, and a few blocks' walk from Klyde Warren Park and The Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher and The Crow Collection.  Still a manageable walk, but a bit further, is the Perot Museum.  So...make a day of it!

In order to tide you over until the next time I'm able to go exploring, check out Culture Map's 10 Dallas Hot Spots in 2014.  At least I don't feel SO out of touch...I've been to two of these picks!!  Yippee!