Date Night

The Husband and I went on a great date night Saturday to see the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at Bass Hall. My friend Kathryn and her husband have been doing this for years and love it, so when the Hubs asked me if I wanted to go I said absolutely. I had never been to a true symphony performance before and wasn’t really sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. The performance we went to was entitled “The American Festival” and opened with the Star-Spangled Banner (which gave me goosebumps), followed by a multimedia presentation on the history of Fort Worth and a solo by a world renowned violinist. It was pretty amazing. The conductor explained each piece before they played it, which made it that much more interesting. There is a lot more history and story-telling behind the music than I anticipated. Fort Worth is really lucky to have such a great orchestra and performance hall in our little city. I highly recommend a symphony night for a little date variety.

 

Foodie Friday: Southern Comfort

(Belated Foodie Friday)

I usually reserve eating fried chicken for church potlucks and picnics, but this summer I’ve discovered two home-cooking gems that merit more frequent visits.

Sissy’s Southern Kitchen & Bar

This is a new Dallas restaurant that exudes Southern charm. It is the bustling Knox-Henderson neighborhood that makes me wnat to move to Dallas. The wait staff sport way cute 1960’s inspired Southern duds complete with pinned up waves and newsboy hats. Beautiful Southern-style vintage china and deer heads are mounted on the wall. There is an awesome screened in porch area and a beautiful bar that was packed for happy hour. I had the Cucumber Cooler and a Shiner Ruby Red that perfectly complimented my meal.

We were celebrating a co-workers birthday and did it right. We ordered a bucket of the Sissy’s Fried Chicken as an appetizer so that we could all try out one of the other fabulous entrees as our main course. I got the shrimp and grits which tasted like a really delicious gumbo. The fried okra was wonderful (they cut them in half instead of slicing them up which equal more yummy okra and less breading), but the must-have side was the macaroni and cheese – gooey and cruncy – my favs. The fried chicken is the best I’ve had. It has a terrific spice to it (paprika, maybe?). This is what I would get on every future visit.

Considering I started with fried chicken and ended with shrimp and grits, there was no room for dessert, but in the future I think I’d try to convince someone to split an entrée and dessert with me so I could partake in the buttermilk pecan pie or cookies & ice cold brandy milk punch.

The only draw back in my book was the noise. It was so loud – like you have to get personal with the waitress loud. But, when you’re stuffing your face with all of the down-home deliciousness who needs to talk?

 

Babe’s Chicken – Burleson, Roanoke and Arlington

I’m generally anti-chain restaurant (not because they’re not delicious – I just hate going to the same place twice), but I think I’m the only person in the DFW metroplex that had not experienced Babe’s. I’ve never heard a bad review of this place and that is because it is just solid comfort food – fried chicken, all the family sides you can eat and my personal favorites, banana pudding and pie. We visited the Burleson location and it is a great casual family venue (a little hokey, but cute) and perfect for post-church on a Sunday. [Image]

Thirsty Thursday: French 75

We went to one of my favorite Fort Worth bars the other night, The Usual, to celebrate JoAnna’s birthday where I re-discovered the French 75. I ordered one of these in a bar back in DC several years ago and was obsessed for a good six months. How I forgot about them I do not know. There is even jello shot version if you are really feeling festive.

The birthday girl

French 75 recipe:

  • 1 1/2 ounces gin (preferably one redolent with juniper)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup*
  • 1–1 1/2 ounces champagne
  • lemon twist, as garnish
  • brandied cherry, as garnish
  • ice

Shake gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup for 30 seconds in an ice-filled shaker. Strain into wine goblet or highball glass halfway filled with ice. Top with champagne. Add more ice if necessary. Garnish with lemon twist and cherry.

* Over low heat, dissolve 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water (stir occasionally). Remove from heat, cool in container, and refrigerate for up to a month. (I totally won’t do this part – you can buy simple syrup, can’t you?)

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Loving My Right to Vote

I’m a day late with this post, but yesterday was a great day. It was the day women were given the right to vote (92 years ago) by the ratification of the 19th Amendment and anyone who knows me knows that I take that right very seriously. (Voting day is like second to my birthday). While I often participate in criticizing our current system, I’m mindful of and thankful that I get to participate in a fair and representative government. With voting day in mind, I’m also extremely excited for the new Romney-Ryan presidential ticket and excited about the possibilities for November.

Here are some great articles on Congressman Ryan including my new favorite meme for you apolitical friends:

IMAGES: [1], [2]. [3]

Here are a few ways you can help get the vote out:

Interior Inspiration: Checkerboard Floors

New series! I realize I’m probably the only one excited by that, but it gives me structure and I could use a lot of that these days. Ninety percent of the blogs I follow and posts I like involve inspiration for my house (just check out my Pinterest). It is my favorite part about visiting my friends’ houses and exploring new places, so I wanted to share their craftiness with my fellow readers (all 6 of you).

My super stylish friend Lindsey just bought a new house in a great area of Fort Worth. She is a master of interiors. I was so sad for her to leave her last house because it was perfect, until I saw what she was doing with this one. Right off the bat she has you swooning with the checkerboard front porch she just painted. How cute is this:

Well since she sent me this picture, checkerboard floors have been popping up EVERYWHERE and I love the look.

Checkboards makes the space look automatically festive. Here is some similar outdoor and entryway inspiration:

And I love that Lindsay used gray to soften it up a little bit like they did in this white washed entry way and living room:

Three of my favorite blogs sniffed out the same trend and showcased a whole host of checkboards – The Decorista, The Aestate, and Houzz.

[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10]

Traveling Tuesdays – Paris

I’m back. This time I did not go on a fabulous vacation, instead I went into overdrive at work and at home (boo), but I feel like the friends that surround me have been rockin’ and rollin’ on some big time projects and inspiration. So I have about 503 ideas for the blog and I’ll hopefully get some time to put pen to paper (so to speak). I know its Wednesday, but I’m going to do a belated Traveling Tuesday post to go ahead and round out our awesome family vacation.

PARIS

Paris was our last destination and I’ll just say it – we got cheated. We only had 36 hours in the City of Lights and it was just a big tease. But what we lacked in time, we made up for in efficiency and squeezed in a boat tour of the Seine, a trip to Versailles, an 11pm viewing of the twinkling Eiffel Tower and a production at the famous Moulin Rouge.

I really really wanted to visit Ladurée after reading about it on like 100 different blogs – and was really bummed when I didn’t think we were going to have enough time. So, you can imagine how excited I was when there was a Ladurée in the Louvre (so much so that I almost missed our entrance into the actual museum). We also found another little gem of a store next door, Mariage Fréres, an AMAZING tea store. The Husband was over the moon. We bought the Marco Polo flavor and it can seriously make a bad day good.

Here are my favorites of Paris:

  • Versailles – I was obsessed with this place. It is gilded, huge, ornate, elaborate…just amazing. You can really picture royalty roaming the halls.
  • The Musée de Orsay – We didn’t get a chance to visit the museum on this trip, but I visited it back in 2006 and I could have spent hours there. This is a must-re-visit on my next trip.
  • Twinkling Eiffel Tower – I’m sorry. It’s just better than the plain one. Stay up late and see it.
  • Sidewalk Cafés – Nothing makes you feel more Parisian
  • Napolean’s Apartments in the Louvre – For the love of interiors, this place is magnificent .