Who Stole The Show At Last Night’s Oscars? One Word. Lupita.

lupita-oscars

When you can’t get a dress out of your mind, you know it’s a good one.

Such was the case after seeing Lupita Nyong’o at last night’s Oscar’s presentation.  That pale blue was, dare I say, perfection against her skin.  The minimal accessories and headband were refreshing and full of grace, just like Lupita.

Life Isn’t Always A Box Of Chocolates: Guessing What’s Inside.

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Every Valentine’s Day, without fail, my father bought each of us girls a heart-shaped box of chocolates and my Mother a ridiculously large Whitman’s Sampler.  He knew the way to a woman’s heart, that’s for sure.

You’d think that after all these years of practice, I’d be better at guessing a type a chocolate.  Yet a few days ago, a vendor brought in a box of Sees chocolates and I confidently chose what I thought was a dark mint-filled chocolate only to discover…caramel.  Ugh.  Foiled again.  Needless to say, I sulked through the rest of the meeting as my co-worker enjoyed the coveted chocolate truffle.

I think the way a person chooses a chocolate says something.  Are you a read-the-key kind of gal?  A secret corner nibbler?  (That’s me.)  Or are you a go-with-the-flow type who chooses randomly and embraces the mystery? (So not me.)

However you select your chocolate, happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow.  May your weekend be filled with sweet surprises…and no caramel.

The Fascination With Granite Countertops.

granite

In researching real estate here in Dallas, nearly every ad boasts granite countertops.  Not to mention HGTV’s House Hunters, where the reaction upon entering a newly remodeled kitchen is always the same.  Oh my!  Granite.

When we purchased our home in New York, our 1960′s-era kitchen featured yellow laminate countertops with stainless steel edging.  Lemon yellow, to be exact.  I could have replaced the counters with granite, but I liked the cheery yellow and eventually painted the cabinets clean white with dove grey accents to modernize and balance the color.

There was a time when kitchens and appliances came in all sorts of eye-popping colors.  Sorbet Pink, Lemon Yellow, Baby Blue and, yes, even Purple.  I imagine that in those days, homebuyers swooned over the modern pink “boomerang” laminate patterns.

boomerang

How do you feel about granite?

For more mid-century inspiration in all its technicolor glory, check out my Pinterest board:

http://www.pinterest.com/noellereally/swell-kitchens/

 

Welcome To Big D. That’s Dallas, Ya’ll.

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Howdy from Dallas, ya’ll!  Better known in Texas as “Big D.”  I’m here in Dallas with my little family embarking on a big adventure, hot off the turnip truck from New York.

There’s one thing I can say about Dallas so far: it is big, sprawling and there’s been no sight of Linda Evans or Joan Collins in a shoulder padded dress yet.

When I was growing up near Houston, Urban Cowboy was my favorite movie.  At one point, Bud (played by a brooding John Travolta) visits his new girlfriend Pam in her upscale Houston penthouse where she mixes a cocktail and explains nonchalantly, “Daddy does oil.  And all that that implies.”

Pam was my idol.

In New York City, the only urban cowboy around is this guy.  Time’s Square’s best free entertainment: The Naked Cowboy.

TheNakedCowboy

Can you believe that a friend of mine once had to ride in the same subway car with him?  Hopefully it wasn’t a packed car.

I can’t wait for all the new adventures that lie ahead here in the lone star state.  Queso, cowboys and pick-ups, oh my!

Texas Series 5: Back From The Lone Star State

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Happy 2014.  We’re baaaaack!  Back in New York where the roads are salted and tomorrow’s wind chills will be 10 degrees below zero.  Now that’s what I call winter.

Texas was a treat.  We sampled chicken fried steak, learned how to dance the cotton eyed joe and ordered iced tea just about everywhere along the way.

Thanks for all the hospitality y’all!  For more cowboy culture, check out my pinterest homage:

 

 

 

 

Texas Series 3: New Year’s Eve in Austin

Happy New Year’s Eve.  We’re here in Austin planning an evening in the lone star state, and there’s no shortage of options.  Here’s what we’ve come up with so far.

Yesterday’s excursion to Allens Boots (which had me smelling like leather all day) ignited my inner urban cowgirl.  I’m yearning for some Texas two stepping with a side of chicken fried steak.  What could be better than Austin’s Broken Spoke?  This authentic 1964 Austin honky tonk boasts a low ceiling dance floor and legendary country music performances by the likes of Willie Nelson and George Strait.

broken spoke1

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Then there’s my inner rockabilly that’s craving great live music and an even better martini.  The Continental Club is a live music institution located in the heart of South Congress since 1957.

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Of course there’s something nice about dive bar hopping through Austin’s east side.  Maybe we’ll start out at Shangri-La for a Pabst Blue Ribbon and see where the evening leads.

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Wherever your plans lead you this evening, have a safe and happy New Year’s eve and 2014.  Cheers from Austin!