Tat it up

Over a year ago I came to the thoughtful conclusion that I wanted to get a tattoo.

I tend to be really indecisive about small decisions (never ask me what I want for dinner, ever) but then cannon ball into big decisions (move to Arizona after I graduate without visiting for a company I wasn’t big fan of? Heck yeah sign me up!). The thing about tattoos though is it’s a permanent big decision, so I took plenty of time to stew on it.


The first thing I figured out was what I wanted to get. I knew I wanted to get a line from my favorite poem “who know’s if the moon’s a balloon” by E.E. Cummings. I’ve been writing “always it’s Spring)” on all surfaces since I first read the poem in college (I tried to go through a poetry phrase, ya know, like all smart people do…) The poem stuck out to me. I almost have it memorized. It paints such a beautiful picture. And it is pure optimism. It speaks to a utopia. That’s so perfect that even the “flowers pick themselves”.


But, in yoga we learn that things aren’t perfect. Life has its ups and downs and twists and curves that we don’t see coming (whether that’s in life, or moving from one pose into a handstand that you didn’t think possible). Things can be beautiful one instant and terrifying in the next. In class we learn to take both in stride. To take the bad with the good and the good with the bad and appreciate all of it. Love all of it.

Not to say that is an easy task. It’s not. My car was towed a few weeks ago and I was a wreck. It put me in a bad mood for two solid days. Although you should let yourself feel the anger and the sadness and all the other bad emotions, you shouldn’t let it steal joy from your life. Which I did.. for two solid days.

All of this to say that I wanted to get “always it’s Spring)” on me as a reminder of this beautiful life and that it’s not always spring. Sometimes it’s winter and it’s freezing outside and your car is under three inches of ice. But that to put a smile on your face through all of it and to remain content, will lead to more love and a happier life. I also wanted it soon. To get it at a time when things are great, like now, to serve as a reminder for when they’re not.

On A Piece of Toast (a favorite blog of mine and Sarah’s), Molly got her tattoo when she was on vacation with a group of girlfriends having the time of her life. I loved that. It wasn’t just any other day, it was also a remembrance of a great time. I wanted to do the same!

(Plus, I’m 25. I wanted to be a little rebellious since I skipped that phase in high school. I love that a tattoo is something that I’ll have when I’m 65, even if I hate E.E. Cummings by then and am so over yoga, I hope it’ll remind me to live a little, laugh a little, and rebel a little)

This past weekend my friend from college Molly was in town and she and my soul sista Catherine stayed with me for the weekend. We had a absolute blast! We crammed so much into those two days, I was exhausted come sunday evening. So when we were paddle boarding on Saturday morning and two other friends mentioned they had gotten tattoos the night before, I was sold. This was THE weekend (planned spontaneity is kind of my thing).

Death and Glory Tattoo
Look how cool, calm and collected I am. This was clearly taken before the pain started!

We headed to Death and Glory on Lower Greenville in Dallas, sat in pain for about 10 minutes while watching BMX, got bandaged up and then obviously went to HG Supply rooftop for a celebratory beer or two. It was a shockingly easy process and with my two bff cheerleaders with me, the whole thing was a breeze.

That's my "I'm so excited, but sooo nervous and also that hurt really bad" face
That’s my “I’m so excited, but also nervous and also that hurt really bad” face

Sooooo I did it. I got my tattoo! I’m so very very excited to have it and also to not to be sitting in that chair with all that pain anymore! If you don’t like it, don’t tell me… 😉 there isn’t much I can do about it now…

This was taken the next morning. Please ignore my unpainted finger nails and lack of filter.
This was taken the next morning. Please ignore my unpainted finger nails and lack of filter.

It’s time to summer

I’ve lauded summer before on Finding Tiffany’s, especially given that the Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. Any time I’m encouraged – no – expected to eat plenty of hot dogs and light things on fire I’m all in.

But what does this summer hold? I feel some goal-setting coming on…

More pool days at FOE. It’s basically the epitome of the neighborhood pool in every quirky, indie movie, which is awesome. And as the husband said, it’s a place where the poolside currency isn’t abs, but tattoos.

Photo by Jason Acton, D Magazine
Photo by Jason Acton, D Magazine

More walks to our new Design District neighbors. I’ve been meaning to walk down the Hi Line shops, try the Taco Stop and bike on the Trinity Strand Trail.

I've got some exploring to do.  Photo by International Business Times
I’ve got some exploring to do.
Photo by International Business Times

Nesting the new home. We comfort ourselves with the knowledge that we’re New-York-in-training, as we’re already spending more than we wanted to on not enough space. Despite the fact that this leaves my Target shopping spree decor budget waning and Ikea nearly broke us up, we’re now the proud owners of some new boxes of furniture and a whole lot of ideas.

Photo by Buzzfeed
Photo by Buzzfeed

Hosting a housewarming party. I can only hope we complete the apartment in time to throw a summer housewarming party. I love to plan and host, the husband loves to cook…we may have found our real life calling.

paperless post new address card
Photo by Paperless Post

Pineapple nail art from Ms. Patty. I’m not too worried about not completing this one. Ms. Patty is the best, and Beauty Bar’s deal for $20 nail art + cocktails by day is only rivaled by their epic dance parties by night. Also, I’ve decided pineapple prints will be the next summer trend. You heard it here first.

wondrously polished - pineapple nail art
Photo by Wondrously Polished




Perks of trying something new

On sunny days in Dallas all I want to do is go to Ascension. Their patio is a frequent host to my and Lydia’s blogging, drinking, caffeination and story swapping.

It’s slightly sunny and barely above 60 degrees today, so naturally I set out to make another such afternoon happen. I was mid-Google mapping when one of my new year’s goals came to mind, reminding me to try new things and places.

So I swapped my Google activity to search and began looking up a new coffee shop instead. Drip Coffee caught my eye, and after reading Yelp reviews criticizing the shop’s environment as too industrial (this Yelper would hate my wedding) and praising their fresh-roasted coffee, I was sold.

drip coffee dallas

And I’m in love.

I’m no expert when it comes to coffee terminology, but I can be a bit of a snob when it comes to taste. Their iced coffee is 100% my favorite in Dallas now. It is dark, rich flavor, slightly nutty and chocolatey, and – my favorite – has a smooth but thick texture. I don’t quite know how to describe it, but I can actually taste the coffee, you know? I hate when it’s a thin, almost syrupy-textured liquid.

inside drip coffee dallas

Music can make or break a place, and their’s is just the right style (good) and volume level (subtly audible). Nothing like the true aural hideousness that is Mudsmith. Don’t ever go there.

The baristas also actually know or want to know every customer and ask real questions about their lives, which is just awesome.

Regardless of whether my coffee description made any sense, you should definitely try Drip Coffee. Bonus, it is surrounded by a lot of shops with serious cute-potential. Apparently I should make it to the Park Cities side of town more often.

A series of unfortunate events

Let’s go back to last Friday. A coworker was just telling me that Klyde Warren, a personal favorite and very cool downtown Dallas park, opened an ice skating rink. As any big city-starved and New York-obsessed girl, visions of sliding through crisp air surrounded by twinkly lights and the beautiful juxtaposition of trees and tall buildings swarmed my head. As not good as the movie Serendipity was (sorry Lydia), I’ve also never been able to lose the mental image of the Central Park ice skating scene and hope that I too might find my own adorable, quick-witted John Cusack to enjoy it with.

So with fiancé and high expectations in tow, I made my way downtown.

All seemed good as we walked up and laced up old fashioned-looking skates. People of all ages were lacing up their own skates, and the twinkly lights were ready for my movie moment. I was even wearing my favorite winter coat (even though I’m pretty sure it was 60 degrees today). And then we stepped on the…not ice.

Not sure how they got away with all the media placements touting the arrival of downtown “ice skating” (gotta love the power of a good publicist), but there was no ice to be found. Instead, our skates came to a screeching halt on plastic, yes, plastic, that required footwork not unlike an elderly penguin post-hip replacement surgery. Definitely no skating, sliding or speed of any kind here. Upon further inspection, our skates actually had just a flat metal strip where the blade would be.

Now, I’m a huge fan of the Klyde Warren. We even threw it out as a potential wedding location due to our support of and excitement for the space from Day 1. So this hurts me to say more than it hurts you, dear park: this “ice skating” is a waste of money, both for participants and the park itself.

After a few attempts at waddling we needed a change of scene, stat. It seemed like a nice night to finally check out Hoffman Hots, a fifties-inspired hot dog restaurant in Trinity Groves. Sadly, this was a severe disappointment both in food quality and atmosphere. And that’s saying something because I LOVE hot dogs. We also figured out we could buy 8 10-packs of hot dogs from a grocery store with what we paid for our 4 “gourmet” hot dogs, which really instilled confidence in our ability to make financially sound decisions for our future.

While this blog might sound like one long complaint, I have to be honest: We actually had a lot of fun tonight lamenting how “Dallas” aka “shiny on the outside/not so hot on the execution” the whole thing was….But if someone asks you to go ice skating in Klyde Warren you might want to tell them you prefer the Galleria.

A super start

Super Yoga Palace Dallas Deep EllumSuper Yoga Palace Dallas Mural

When Lydia and I first started this blog, the first topic was obvious: What does Finding Tiffany’s even mean for us? Figuring out what my goals were and where my dreams lay took a lot of soul-searching, but I eventually settled on a version of my life “to do list”. Some of those dreams and priorities have shifted a little since, but it has still been a great diagnostic to hold myself accountable for making forward momentum in my life.

One of those goals involved more yoga, but not just any yoga anywhere. For months turning into years I longed to try yoga at Super Yoga Palace near downtown Dallas. After researching Dallas’ yoga offerings, everything I found about this place seemed like just what I was looking for – a casual environment that embraces the yogi lifestyle with a variety of classes that really teach every aspect, not just lead. It’s also aesthetically pleasing with a huge mural and indie music I’d listen to outside of yoga class. In addition to a happy hour after Friday’s class, they even have a class where everyone brings their favorite vinyls to play during the practice. Sold.

This morning I had my second class. Nothing like starting your day feeling physically accomplished, mentally (and literally) stretched and emotionally rested!

Not only is this a check on the to do list, but it has also inspired a new goal. I’ll be making this a weekly affair, hopefully even trying out another class or two. I’m excited to see how my practice improves and hey, the stress-reducing / fitness benefits don’t hurt either!

Meeting the neighbors

south dallas - nylo sodanylo terrace dallas skylinenylo terrace foosballnylo dallas barnylo terrace brunchnylo dallas lampnylo dallas lobby 1nylo dallas lobby 2nylo dallas lobbynylo dallas pianonylo dallas

One of my “semi-near future life goals” was to create more, and another related goal involved getting a camera and actually using it. While you’ve probably noticed from recent posts that I’ve indeed gotten the camera and actually started using it, there’s a huge difference between playing around and happening to get some decent shots with actually knowing what the heck is happening in my camera to get said shot. Luckily, I have a friend who was willing to lend some photography knowledge, so I spent my Saturday learning the difference between ISO, aperture and shutter time – just a couple basic slr settings.

I then headed over to my neighbor, NYLO, with my new-found knowledge. NYLO is a hotel and rooftop bar that opened up in South Dallas a couple months back, with an infinity pool that rumor has it, is going to be open to the public in the summer. Before you get all excited by their sign for an old-fashioned soda bar and tell all your friends about it as you picture how much fun you’re going to have sipping on all sorts of root beer float-esque drinks (not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything), I might as well be the one to burst your bubble…it turns out “SODA” actually stands for South Dallas. Not actual soda.

Despite this minor disappointment, however, my earlier explorations also resulted in a delicious prosecco (of course) cocktail with a friend, so I knew this was going to be just the sort of space I felt right at home in. It also helped that their music selection is fantastic. It was like someone had stolen my favorite Pandora station. The kicker was stumbling across their brunch menu this time around. Ah, a good brunch….they found my Achilles heel.

On the bright side, this can only help me further accomplish my other earlier goal to brunch more.



Aside from my weekend routine of dog parks, yoga, and a cappuccino addiction, I really only have one interesting thing to share from this weekend.

A few months ago I read about an organization called The Stewpot. They were featured in an article by the Dallas Observer showcasing their art show they recently had at the Dallas Library. The Stewpot is an organization dedicated to helping the Dallas homeless get back on their feet, and art classes are just part of that. What was so beautiful about this art show was the unexpected (or should it be expected?) talent among the group. The Dallas Observer blogger, Betsy Lewis, described her reaction to one artist in particular’s wall of art work, Charles Williams:

Then I arrived at a wall full of work by an artist named Charles William

I kept saying, out loud, to no one in the room, “holy shit” and “Jesus” and, again, “holy shit.” I even wrote down “holy shit” in case I might forget it later. I know nothing about this person but I know he has mastered, MASTERED, Cubism.

Charles William Faciall Velietta Dickens RogersAs an obsessor of all that is creativity, this obviously caught my attention. I read on to discover that The Stewpot offers services such as helping individuals apply for social security checks, obtain birth certificates, and overall guidance to help acclimate their ‘clients’ to a new job and living on their own.

Around the same time I stumbled across the article, I had been feeling pretty selfish. My mind constantly revolves around where I’ll go next in my career, how I am going to afford Europe in a few months, and where the next coffee shop is opening up in Dallas. Me, me, me, me. I used to enjoy this. As a single 20 something, this is the time in my life I am allowed to be pretty selfish. But I wasn’t sure if I was giving proper thanks to where I was and what I had. If I was always looking to what’s next, how am I supposed to make sure I am appreciative of the today?

All that to say I was compelled to sign up to volunteer. Unforunately, apparantly everyone has these same thoughts around the holiday season so they were pretty booked for weekends through January. So I had to book pretty far in advance, but finally the weekend arrived!

Initially, I was kinda freaked. When I got there there were a bunch of ‘clients’ walking around and I  had no idea where I was going and it was still dark outside. I couldn’t help but entertain the idea of getting back in my car to my warm, cozy and inviting bed. Luckily a fellow lost volunteer found me and together we navigated the unfamiliar “bad part of Dallas” to find where we were supposed to be. After a brief orientation, I was assigned the task of walking around and filling up water cups with a pitcher. Frankly, I was nervous. I don’t think this is unusual. I had no idea what types of personalities I was about to encounter. Plus, I was nervous I would spill the water – waitressing was never exactly my forté.

In the end, I had a great time. While walking around filling water, I chatted with many of the clients and found so many of them to be warm, kind and genuinely good people. The volunteers were no different. They were engaging, fun, and again, genuinely good people. The place where the meals were served was called “The Bridge.” It felt like a campus. They had one huge hall for sleeping, a library, computer lab, showers and lockers. In my opinion, by Stewpot respecting and keeping “The Bridge” clean, their clients have equal respect for the place they call home and those that make it possible.

The best thing that Stewpot is able to provide this group is a feeling of community and safety. The provide it, and they do a great job.

For more information on Stewpot and how you can get involved, check out TheStewpot.org.

xo L