this past friday i returned home from a 2-day work trip to kansas city where i went with the whole marketing team that i am on to meet with a new agency partner of ours. there were like 12 of us traveling together and while the trip was short it felt like it lasted a lot longer than it did!  those 12-hour days are no joke, plus the freezing weather didn’t help. it was fun but intense, so when i landed friday i drove straight home, changed into “comfy clothes” & spent the evening doing nothing but chillin’ with dek, cuddling on the couch sipping champagne.

on saturday, i toggeled between being a hermit crab, staying in & doing nothing again or putting on my face and facing the world to be social. i went with the latter. it started with mirelle’s text at 8 am wanting to hang out, then molly’s phone call (greenville ave. was where she was headed & wanted us to come with her), then i texted my friend jules who i knew was in town from fort worth and who i have been wanting to see, then my mom texted us, then lauren texted. it was funny how it snowballed into a random day of fun with great people and good laughs! we met up at greenville ave. pizza company & were hungry so, duh! we had some delicious pizza. i always go for the same thing, green olives + feta, but when molly said she was ordering the pesto schiutto, i was all in. it’s pesto sauce, prosciutto, roma tomatoes, arugula, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, pizza crack (their homemade seasoning that is addicting as crack!) and parmesan. everything i love, but on a pizza. it was sooooooo good!

cheers at Greenville Avenue Pizza company

the “wall paper” in the restaurants is not paper at all, its a hand-painted work of art!! along with their storefront signs. look closely next time you are in, it’s amazing. also, they just opened a new location at 1145 peavy rd in east dallas, if that’s your ‘hood you’re in luck!

wallpaper at Greenville Avenue Pizza company

greenville avenue pizza company storefront

the pesto schiutto – check out the rest of GAPC’s menu here

pesto schiutto pizza at greenville avenue pizza company

we also ordered a slice (which is the equivalent of like 3) of margarita & 5-cheese which were insane, per usual

margarita pizza and five cheese pizza at greenville avenue pizza company

stacked pizza boxes by the beverage station

piled pizza boxes at greenville avenue pizza company

#ootd

greenville avenue pizza company

after lunch, we we went walking around and into this super cute shop right across the street from bullzerk called the merchant. they have great giftables, coffee table books, tea towels, candles and beautiful i-want-to-touch-and-smell-and-pick-everything-up merchandising displays. definitely check them out if you are in the area!

the merchant store greenville avenue dallas texas

the merchant store on greenville avenue

miller hat shop sign at the merchant on greenville avenue

another pit stop we made was to joy macaroons, it’s the perfect place to grab a sweet treat post-lunch. the others in my group didn’t get anything but i got butter pecan and pistachio and ate them both…in under 1 minute. the pistachio was surprisingly my favorite of the two but there are so many flavors to choose from – you can even get a macaroon ice cream sandwich, which we often do in the summer.

joy macaroons greenville avenue dallas texas

strollin’ around greenville avenue

walking down greenville avenue

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every year a few of my best friends & i meet up to celebrate the holidays and have some of those belly-wrenching laughs. this year we gathered at my house and everyone brought something to eat or drink along with a surprise for a gift exchange. the potluck was amazing, we had a variety of dishes and wines and you know the best nights are when everyone is huddled in the kitchen around the island. there were about five crock pots lined up at one point and all of the food was so delicious! there were meatballs, brisket (i followed this recipe again), pineapple ham, mac & cheese, chick-fil-a minis, artichoke dip, caesar salad, cranberry puff pastries, pigs in a blanket, whoopie pies and yum yum cake. i’ve come to learn that hosting means you get to keep the leftovers…perks!

there were games, good laughs and memories made. can’t wait to see what next year brings for all of us.

i snapped a few photos of the party, scroll down for more if you’d like to see…

girls christmas extravaganza partygathered around the food at the girls christmas partyrosé, anyone?rose wine lovercustomized napkins that say “the benita’s” that were gifted to me last holiday seasoncustom napkins with my last namea 3-D wall décor idea i got from this postdiy festive holiday 3D wall decor ideacharcuterie board by marli, she whipped this up in under 5 minutes & it was gone just as fast!holiday party meat and cheese boardabout to exchange giftsgirls christmas party gift exchangemirelle, my love, the ringleader girls christmas party gift exchangeso many good gifts under the tree & molly actually brought a legit gift this year (ha!)girls holiday party gift exchange#socialsabotage – it was like “cards against humanity” but with things you would have to do on social media or through text message and then it was up to the person whether they would post/do whatever it was

girls christmas party photos from past years, in order from most recent:

2016- matchbox american kitchen

2015- marli’s house

2014- dallas beer kitchen

2013- bryan street tavern

2018- TDB!!!!

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i’m thankful for so many things and yesterday was an opportunity to actually say what i am thankful for OUT LOUD, i don’t do that enough and i am going to start trying harder.

at the moment, here are the top 3 things i am thank for:

1. dek & our relationship. i truly have a lover, a friend and partner in life with him and i’m so happy with where we are today. we’re stronger than ever and have a deeper connection than when we first got together. we just “announced” to our family that we are trying to get pregnant. we’re ready to grow this family of ours!!!

2. family. don’t know where i would be without the guidance of my mom, dad, sister and brother. i have unique relationships with each of them that i am so thankful for.

3. ambition. to work, to travel, to explore. i’m thankful this spark is alive in me and in my mind. i will never stop dreaming and doing things that i love and i’ll never stop reaching for the endless possibilities that i can and will creating something amazing in this life.

i’m also thankful YOU are here reading this post on my site. if you didn’t notice already, it’s gotten a little bit of a makeover (post coming soon about that!), hopefully you will find the site more visually appealing. feel free to share the top 3 things you’re currently thankful for in the comments below, i’d love to hear!

anyways, back to thanksgiving and the good stuff, the food! it was my second time hosting this holiday and probably won’t be my last, i love doing it! everyone offered to bring a dish which helped alleviate the pressure. i made a simple, but tasty brisket in the crock pot, following this recipe. it’s super easy – you just throw everything in the night before and wake up to garlic aroma filling the house and tender brisket with mushrooms marinating – everyone was drooling over it – it was insaaaannnne! i also made this white bean dip that i snagged from cupcakes & cashmere’s site, which was light and oh, so snack-able. dek made oven-baked chicken from his mom’s recipe book and we had a simple green salad with tomatoes, feta, pine nuts and pecans with lemon-garlic dressing. my mom brought smashed potatoes & gravy and pumpkin bread (dekel’s favorite!) and my sister brought an intense marbled chocolate and peanut butter reese’s cheesecake and champagne for mimosas. my aunt brought bread rolls and grandmother brought a pickle tray with olives and cranberries. it was SO nice to enjoy a casual lunch with the fam & a delicious meal gathered around a tablescape i was pretty proud of. i definitely indulged in one too many helpings of smashed potatoes & reeses cake with vanilla ice cream but it was soooo worth it!

after lunch we played some table games, our favorites are spoons and mexican train, then we migrated over to the living room to lounge on the couches and have some blonde roast coffee & pumpkin bread. we sifted through the endless pile of black friday ads and mirelle made a list of “doorbusters” we wanted to go check out that evening. after watching a painful first half of the cowboys game, i gave in and went shopping with my mom & sister. we headed out to poke around in jc penny’s, kohls, old navy and target. i scored some great pieces that i am sharing on the blog tomorrow, so be sure to check back.

my tablescape – created with garland from at home stores with pine cones and candles layered in (mandarin currant scent) & vases with eucalyptus from hobby lobby for height. mix-matched napkins are from world market and the gratitude cards are from my mom, tied with white pom-pom string.

bar cart vibes + a festive DIY (inspiration from this post)

Festive Bar Cart

white bean dip

white bean dip appetizer with veggies and pita chips

marbled reese’s cheesecake made by my sister, mirelle

Reeses cheese cake

sister pic, post lunch

post-Thanksgiving meal sister photo

2nd annual family thanksgiving selfie stick pic, 1st annual pic here

Thanksgiving family photo

hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving, enjoy the weekend!

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i went with my girlfriends this weekend to nearby cedar creek lake for an overnight getaway to celebrate #friendsgiving. with it only being an hour away, we caravaned it down saturday morning-ish, stopping at cedar creek brewery on the way for a beer and lunch and then on to chels’ lakehouse….where we get together to take our makeup bras off, snack all night and make memories & inside jokes that we will bring up for years to come. we called this trip #GirlsTripPlusTy because some of my friends have kiddos and we were allll girls, plus tyler 🙂  we each brought a dish for a homemade meal and the icing on the cake was literally the best cake i’ve ever had – it’s called yum yum cake and if you like pecans you would die! here is a similar recipe & there is a photo below, get ready to drool.

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let’s go cowboyssssss!

it’s sunday & the ‘boys are playing as i type. i’m standing up at my kitchen island and dek’s lounging on the couch with peanut on his chest. we were over at my grandmother’s house grilling burgers with family earlier today & then i went to see my friend’s new kitten, gray. he was the cutest, smallest little creature & he stole my heart. (pic of him below!) my girlfriends were making fun of me for wanting to be home by 3:30 to watch the game, but i’m all about it this season, so naturally, my #ootd was representin’ that navy. plus, it gives me an excuse to sit down and yell and paint my nails at the same time. this little comfy dress is kind of see-through in the daylight and a slip was not working, so i tied one of my grandfather’s flannel shirts around my waist and kept it casual with easy sandals. now, it really is 90 in november…..

shirt_dress_1

<dress- derek heart, flannel shirt- my grandfather’s, shoes- marshall’s, sunnies- uptown chepskate>

shirt_dress_2

shirt_dress_3

shirt_dress_4

and here’s the cute kitten:

kitten

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this past weekend was one of the best, most productive ones i can remember having in a long time & i’d love to share what composed of my eventful, history-making, life changing, inspiring last couple of days:
beginning our saturday at coffeehouse cafe with a doubleshot latte swirled into perfection
i love being surrounded by “feel good” items, such as this old (but working!) coffee “syphon” of sorts, newspapers & exposed brick
breath-taking views from my friend’s balcony.
jaw. dropped.
 dallas skyline from the “oakcliff side” of town
this beautiful, whimsical thing is margaret hunt hill bridge.
my friend, Lo, & i participated in “yoga on the bridge” hosted by all out! where they were trying to set a Guinness World Record for the world’s largest yoga chain. it was a super cool experience!
 surreal surroundings
so dek & i bought a new car this weekend!
i loved dekel’s car so much that he gave me his & he is the proud owner of this cute little car below. 
 sunday morning was spent enjoying brunch with a view of lake lewisville, my mom gifted us a groupon to sneaky pete’s back for christmas & we’ve been meaning to go! it was buffet style, delicious and a great way to start our drizzly day. after brunch, we went to check out at home‘s lewisville location. the store is beautiful & really has everything you would ever want or need PLUS more! little insider scoop: our average customer spends 2+ hours in our store shopping, so take your latte with ya when you go 😉
 after home decor shopping, i met my partners at starbucks for our weekly coffee master meeting, where we compared two reserve coffees, french pressed, side by side. we paired each coffee with a different pastry, but i love the compare/contrast element of our tastings, as only by doing so am i able to describe what i taste. and really, when you pair coffee with food, it makes a world of difference! 
 me at marshall’s trying on some professional looks, slowly but surely adding sophisticated pieces to my wardrobe so i can dress the part as marketing coordinator! loving it!
ps- this jacket came home with me. in love.
thanks for reading & have a wonderful week!
share some highlights of your weekend below, i’d love to hear!
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initially inspired by these, i knew i wanted to use small, wooden crate-like boxes to assemble a “centerpiece” for our living room area. since we live in a simple studio apartment and the floor plan is open, our whole place is basically just one big room, which we love. it feels open, inviting & homey. but there was just one big wall we weren’t sure what to do with. we were on the search for free or cheap wooden boxes, i mean we could have made them, but luckily dekel’s friend had 5 that he didn’t need and they were exactly what we were looking for, so we took them on as the DIY project i have always been wanting to do!we were going to my grandmother’s house today to do some yard work & around-the-house chores, so we brought our boxes and some black spray paint to do this potentially-messy project in a corner of her giant backyard. we first removed leftover stickers that were on the boxes and sanded each box down. then we took a slightly damp cloth to the boxes to wipe them down from debris. to avoid painting the grass black, we cup open a few 45 gallon trash bags and found some weights to hold the bags down. we decided to take advantage of this spray painting opportunity to DIY some patio chairs as well. my sister gave them to us for our little outside seating area and they are perfect, besides the color and the fact that they would leave green residue when you touched them, so a coat of black paint was a necessity & i think they came out great!

the next step was to decide how wide we wanted the v-shape format on our wall and just nail them in! we honestly just eyeballed the heights, so they might be off a tad, but it looks amazing to me & i love the result! to finish off our centerpiece, we added something to our wall that we’ve been wanting to mount for a while now, our scratch map! i got this for dekel for his birthday 3 years ago and finally it’s up:) (you can find one here!)dek sanding the boxes

  
 
the straightening tool is crucial so you don’t have uneven boxes, really helps!
we need to scratch more countires…i think costa rica will be the next one!


hope you liked this post!


stay tuned if you’d like to see how we decorated our small space of the world; full apartment tour coming up this week!
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so, not gunna lie- i had a rough start to this day.
this first photo is a reminder of how nauseous i was that morning, as we walked, again, to zabar’s to pick up breakfast of bagels and chocolate croissants. i just could not stand any smells or sights and the hot/cold factor of the weather/ heater made me feel even more dizzy and sick-feeling. so while everyone went into zabar’s to pick out juice and breakfast i was squatting outside by the tree in the photo behind me and this nice street vendor man let me borrow his chair for the few minutes i waited. he must have seen how dizzy and hungover i was because i was facepalm at that point. and i just to clarify, i had an entire bottle of champagne to ring in the new year. no lie. nothing even exciting went down, we seriously just hung out at our air bnb apartment and watched the ball drop and made a night of it with champagne (lotsss of it) and vodka shots chased with lipton tea…i vaguely remember that part. but i am a champagne lover! could drink it at every meal and with a straw. but it makes me a mad, yet very lovey and emotional drunk and i’m gunna have to work on that this year. note to self: 2 glass maximum
anyways, here is my batch of photos for our outs & abouts on new year’s day in new york.
this particular day, if you couldn’t have already guessed, was not my day to play photographer so i did not carry my camera, but i made my best attempt to capture some of the fun things we did later on in the day, as my pounding headache wore off, with my phone.after breakfast, which we enjoyed i attempted to swallow down back at our apartment and next to the chilly window, but under a blanket (i’m telling you, hot, then cold, then hot, then cold) we ventured off to soho to find this one particular store my mom had been raving about called ‘yellow rat bastard,’ we made it & loved it! it was totally like an ‘urban outfitters‘ but raunchier. they had hilarious tees & i found this cute souvenir shirt for me & this one for dek (because his name means ‘palm tree’ in hebrew). after shopping a bit (& walking a ton!) we enjoyed lunch in chinatown. it was a funny experience in chinatown, dining, shopping, everything is so awkward and weird, but it was a great experience and amazing food! after filling our bellies, we headed to grand central station– we all really wanted to go see it in person. the subway took us right to the station and we exited into one of the confusing concourses that headed to the ‘main chamber.’ it was enormous, beautiful and very detail-oriented, made me just stand, again, in awe of architecture and artistry. it was really packed in there and there was even protesting or something going on, so it was hustle & bustle, but i’m glad we got to see it in person. plus! there is this way cool secret that we tried, hence the photo of my mom talking to the wall below.

after our visit to the grand central station, we walked around times square a bit & then looked up where to go for dinner. mirelle found the meatball shop which was a few blocks away from our airbnb apartment so we made our way there from times square. they had a dim lit setting with festive greenery hanging everywhere, meat grinders hanging on the wall and an open view to where they made their balls. and their balls were damn good! we got balls, mashed potatoes and homemade cookies with ice cream for dessert. highly recommended if you ever have the chance to go!


hope you enjoy photos from my new year’s day in nyc!

super hungover, chillin in a street vendors chair in the middle of the sidewalk

beautiful streets of soho

lunch in chinatown

grand central station

 

family photo!

the whispering gallery

 

 it’s an impressive sight

 bryant park ice skating rink;
we enjoyed a bavarian style sea salt pretzel while watching people fall skate

 times square

 panoramic view

at the meatball shop

 

the most delishious balls!

 with the birthday girl

 my friend Lauren, brother Ben & sister Mirelle

thanks for reading! 

my last day in new york will be up soon & then i’ll continue with regular posting, i just wanted to be sure to document my trip, day-by-day to share with you guys and to be able to look back on 🙂
hope you’ve enjoyed it!

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for new york day two, after checking out taza’s guide, we decided to venture toward chelsea to walk the highline, find chelsea market and dine at artichoke basille’s(my friend molly recommended artichoke as well & it really was amazing!) but first, breakfast. zabar’s was one short block away from us & was our go-to. they have anything you could want! it is a huge corner lot with a food store to pick up or sit on a stool & people watch bagels, danishes, lunch paninis, coffee or fresh juice while a different huge section is like a grocery store, but with fresh items, like olives, cheeses, meats, coffees, etc. this place was amazing and we ate there every morning. we stuck to the same thing almost daily, which was an everything bagel, chocolate croissant, coffee and OJ and if i lived near there i swear i would be a regular! it reaaalllyyyy crowded in there (hello, claustrophobia!) but somehow we managed to pounce right in time to grab a spot three spots each time. it was also reaaalllyyyy toasty in there! you’re so bundled up from the cold outside that a few minutes after sitting down you feel the need to undress and peel off layers just to be comfortable. i always laughed to myself at the pile of coats, sweaters and bags we had next to us or under of chairs for the duration of the trip.later on in the evening, after walking what seemed like the entire highline & chelsea market, we decided to treat ourselves to massages, which was amazing and relaxing. and after our 60-minute massages, we met up with my brother ben who lives near times square and he showed us around rockefeller center to see some of the holiday sights.

here are some photos from new york day two, if you would like to see:

this is my serious grub face

it was also reeeaaallllyyy bright!

zabars – W. 80th & N. Broadway

on the highline


all bundled up


street art

we popped into death ave. for a cup of warm liquid and to map our next move

 artists & fleas at chelsea market

the indoor marketplace is huge! lots to try and see…


beautifully decorated

we found it! & loved it!

we ordered the 17th street special, where are got to try 3 different slices

view of times square from h&m

giant christmas tree at rockefeller center
life-size christmas lights at rockefeller center

radio city

 & this is where day 2 ends.


i will try to post day 3 tomorrow, since it’s my day off. 
thanks for reading!

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this past sunday dek & i made our way over to white rock coffee to sip on a latte and enjoy their atmosphere before heading over to my grandmother’s house to rake and mulch the sea of leaves that has accumulated.
i’ve heard of wr coffee before, a few friends have suggested we go and sunday was the day. we had no idea what to expect walking in, but we loved it! the coffee shop itself is located in a slim and narrow building with space being really well utilized. they have a lot of seating for being such a small cafe, but the ambiance of the upstairs and all the natural light is really great. as you enter and you walk right in to a fluffy and decorated christmas tree, paired with the robust smell of their-own-roast of coffee…it’s a great sensation. i especially appreciate the wood vaulted ceilings and the industrial fans 🙂
the barista behind the counter was super nice & helpful, as they usually are when the first words out of my mouth are “hi, we’ve never been here,” said with a smile. dek & i weren’t feeling meat that morning so we opted for plain & everything toasted bagels with cream cheese to pair with our lattes. (his: extra hot, mine: vanilla with almond milk) we opted to sit upstairs with our breakfast & beverages and people watch from up above. it was super cool & we even left our mark by tagging our names on the beam. you know you’re a barista when…you keep 2 black, fine-tip sharpies in your purse.here are some photos from our sunday, if you would like to see:

there was a wr barista named parker actually roasting his own coffee on the patio outside; it was the coolest thing! he had a notepad with details from how he wanted to differentiate this batch from his last and a timer running in order to catch the beans at their peak. i have never witnessed coffee roasting before my own eyes, but he explained this is an at-home roaster, so i might have to look more into this whole coffee roasting process thing myself…
raking the sea of crunchy leaves in my grandmother’s back yard
beanie: charlotte russe, scarf: charlotte russe, sweater: h&m, pants: target, shoes: nine west fango booties
i had a blast riding that thing!
thanks for reading!
have a wonderful week!
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