Dallas City Guide: Frivolities

7 11 2011

So there you have it, Sweet Iced Tea’s favorite places to sleep, eat, see, and shop. But we just had to squeeze in a couple more great things to do for our last day of the Dallas City Guide that didn’t seem to fit anywhere else, so we’re calling them our Dallas Frivolities.

Beck Park at night

Beck Park — Just outside the museum is a small modern park where you can sit and relax, have a little picnic, or meet some of the locals. A Dallas icon.

Three Jays Carriage Ride — If you really want to see the city from a unique perspective, contact Three Jays for a carriage ride. Not just your typical horse and buggy, these stylish rides will take you all over the city to some of its historic and must-see sights. So much more fun than taking a cab, but be sure to make a reservation!

Ok, Dallas natives, did we leave anything out? If so, be sure to let us know in the comments!

Dallas City Guide: Shop

4 11 2011

Alright, y’all, we’re continuing with our city guide, and now we come to the really fun part of the “Big D,” shopping!

There are so many fantastic places to shop, and you know I love antiques, so we’ve decided to break it up by antiques, and then every other category under the sun.

Antiques & Old Things

  • White Elephant Shop — Everything you could want to find — from paintings to pottery, jewelry to books, music, furniture, toys, tools…
  • LOST, also FOUND — These two sister shops (what a cute name for antique stores) are located in Dallas’ design district and have some of the area’s premier dealers offering their wares.
  • Buchanan Market — Check your itinerary calendar to see if your visit falls on one of the days the Buchanan Market is open. If you do happen to catch this gigantic flea market, you’ll be lucky enough to be among 85,000 square feet of dealers with collectibles ranging from Texas to Europe and everywhere in between.
  • City View Antique Mall — This family owned shop has loads of historic dealers who are some of the most experienced in the business. You’ll want to be sure to leave plenty of time to browse around all they have to offer.
  • Parkhouse Antiques — One word describes Parkhouse – romantic. From French to Italian home and garden products, you’ll be sure to find something pretty here.
  • Mecox Gardens — Mecox specializes in antiques and reproductions. It’s one of those stores that is the reason why Dallas is becoming known the world over as a spectacular place to shop.
  • Again and Again — While you might not call “Again” antiques, it’s certainly vintage. But while I sometimes think of vintage as a bit more granola, this place is stylish, modern, and unique. She takes the good bones of old things and makes new again with fresh touches for a bold look that you won’t find easily elsewhere.

More Shopping

  • Bishop Arts District, including Bishop Street Market — If you’re going to shop, you’ve got to start off in the hip Bishop Arts District. Head to Bishop and David and start on the corner Street Market where you’ll find gifts for everyone, including yourself. Everything from jewelry to chocolates to fragrances. Then grab some lunch at one of the many trendy restaurants before you continue to shop. Whether it’s clothing, body care products, linens, toys, bags, art, party supplies, or plants. You can even get your hair done before you head out for an evening on the town. Grab a cup of coffee, and check their website, as they often have events and concerts worth sticking around for as the main evening event.
  • Ballard & Blakely – Everything from home, to floral, to vintage, to seasonal, this charming place has something for anyone.
  • Curiosities — The best way to describe what Curiosities sells is “Oddities.” From folk art to mid-century, fine art to antiques, you’ll be sure you’ll find a unique treasure at Curiosities.
  • Gypsy Wagon — I just love their tag line — “Sussies for Everyone.” I didn’t know anyone beyond my family knew what a “sussy” was until I stumbled upon this shop, full of cute clothes, Texas cowboy boots, jewelry, stuff for the home, even for baby. And of course, you can pick up a sussy, for anyone!
  • Urban Flower/Grange Hall — This store is hard to “get,” but if you do, it’s beyond cool. Yes, it is a flower shop, but it’s got this haunted house, European vibe that makes it so much more. Definitely worth a visit.
  • Uncommon Market — Much as been written about UM, so just go.
  • LaMariposa – I so distinctly remember this store, though it’s been years since I’ve visited… that’s how unique its wares are.
  • Uptown Country — This cottage-style shop features shabby chic gifts, furniture, art, and accessories in a girly style.
  • Ceylon et Cie — Sophisticated, sleek, glamorous. Their philosophy is old-world and “more is more.” Curator Michelle Nussbaumer has been featured in Southern Accents, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, and many more, so you know her aesthetic is spot on.
  • Aritzia — If you’re looking to Dallas as the South’s fashion go-to, you’d be right on at Aritzia. Even though they started in our Canadian neighbors to the north, they’ve got boutique markets around North America. But Dallas is the only city in the South lucky enough to have this trendy boutique where you can find some of the latest looks for the season.
  • Horchow Finale — Located just outside Dallas in Plano is a mecca for all shoppers who, like me, love Neiman Marcus and Horchow. The final sale items end up here, along with any slightly damaged goods, so you can find fabulous products for 90% off original price. Happy hunting!
  • William-Christopher – A small design shop, you’ll find vintage inspired items with classic touches, as well as their custom designed furniture and other various gifts and accessories. Worth a stop.
  • James McInroe Inc. — You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but if you stumble into this designer’s showroom, you’ve entered into some of the best Dallas has to offer. Distinctly Southern design, but with a glamorous bent.
  • Stephanie Anne  — I clearly love those shops where there’s a little something for everyone. From jewelry, clothes, furniture… Stephanie Anne’s offers a lifestyle of multicultural, but completely down to earth products, all from her finely tuned perspective which she like to describe as “Queen Elizabeth meets Chanel.”
  • Collage Classics — Imported from California, these designers opened their modern 20th century furniture store in 1990 in Dallas and have never looked back. Their wares, including lighting and architect-inspired furniture have been featured in national magazines and even museums.
  • Half-Price Books — Y’all know we couldn’t have gotten out of Dallas without at least one bookstore on the list.
  • Gameday Cloth — You really can’t be in the heart of Texas without catching just a little of the local sports fanatic spirit. So if you need to show your pride, head over to Gameday Cloth for cool tees and memorabilia from teams all over the South.

Dallas City Guide: See

27 10 2011

Now that you’ve had a good night’s sleep, and plenty of good food, it’s time to see the city! Here are our top three must-sees in Dallas.


Dallas Museum of Art — With over 24,000 objects, ranging from BC to present day, the DMA could keep you busy for weeks. I love their list of 100 Experiences, things to look for, enjoy around the museum, and enhance your day at the museum.


Mary Kay Museum — I’m dying to do this next time I’m in Dallas. Can you imagine how many pink Cadillacs are in the parking lot? Located on the site of the Corporate offices for Mary Kay cosmetics, this museum tells the history of one of the most well-known Southern companies around.


Trinity River Audubon Center — Ready to get outdoors? Well, head over to the Trinity River Audubon center for 6,000 acres of nature along the Trinity River. Hike amoung the prairies and wetlands, birdwatch, and then head back just about 10 minutes into the heart of downtown.

Dallas City Guide: Suppertime

25 10 2011

Mr. SIT and me enjoying a local mariachi band at a Dallas tex-mex joint.

Now that you’ve had a good night’s sleep, you should have a Texas-sized appetite.

Everyone knows Dallas has a reputation for good food. So, here are the best restaurants and snacks that Dallas has to offer:

  • Tillman’s Roadhouse — If you want an authentic Texas experience, head over to Tillman’s. All you’ll get is a casual, rustic but lush atmosphere, music, and really good food. Oh, and a little Texas hospitality.
  • Cowboy Chow — A little ’bout Cowboy Chow? Inspired by chuck wagon cooking, Cowboy Chow boasts open range dining — cooked slow and flavor-packed. Peruse this menu at your own risk — drooling may ensue.
  • LOCAL — Modern, in season, classic, and I guess it goes without saying, local. Don’t miss this stylish spot.
  • Stephan Pyles — Located in the popular Bishop Arts District, Stephan Pyles, and its sister restaurant, Samar, feature bold foods — smoky, spicy, multi-cultural flavor is what he’s known for. And everything is prepared in-house.
  • Hattie’s — I’ll leave you only with their own description, which sounds about as perfect of a restaurant as you’ll ever find anywhere: American bistro with a southern low-country influence.
  • Cafe Madrid — When you’re in Dallas, you’ve got to have some tapas. Even better if you can enjoy them in a cosy, intimate setting. Order a few tapas, and sit back to enjoy live guitar.
  • SMOKE — You’ll remember SMOKE from yesterday’s hotel feature, as it’s the place to be if you’re staying at the Belmont.
  • Scardello Cheese Market — Artisan cheeses and the scrumptious accompaniments. Grab some local Texas cheeses to try before you purchase your favorites for a Texas picnic.
  • Dude! Sweet Chocolates — Rumor has it, these dudes are friends with Scardello (they sell the chocolates in the cheese shop). At any rate, top off the end of a delicious meal with a hand-made sweet. (And don’t you love that fun name?)
  • Soda Gallery — Sample over 200 types of “sodas” (took everything in my Southern body not to say 200 types of Cokes… y’all know what I mean) from all over the world. And while you’re enjoying your “pop,” you can enjoy looking at some regional pop art.
  • Sprinkle’s Cupcakes — After all that delicious food, you’ll want to top it off with a Sprinkle’s Cupcake for dessert.

Dallas is the New L.A.

24 10 2011

You heard it here folks… with world-class shopping and restaurants, along with some of the South’s trendsetters, Dallas is quickly becoming the spot to be. And we’d agree. Every time I’ve been to the heart of Texas, I’ve had a fantastic time. We had the chance to visit Mr. SIT’s family there last fall, and I’ve been wanting to do one of our famous Sweet Iced Tea City Guides ever since.

With so much to see and do, we decided to dedicate an entire week to Dallas … y’all, you know us here, we can’t keep it short! So each day, we’ll be featuring another facet of the city, from where to stay, where to eat, where to shop, and what to see.

The Belmont Hotel epitomizes Dallas cool.

First off, you’ll need a place to sleep. Our favorites places to rest your weary head are …

  • The Belmont Hotel — The Belmont is a boutique hotel that have become so popular because of their smaller, charming, vintage vibe. The Belmont is near downtown, but you don’t have to leave the grounds to hear some live music on the poolside green or take in the skyline from atop North Oak hilltop. And don’t miss their award-winning fare at their restaurant, SMOKE.
  • The Adolphus — I love a hotel with history, don’t you? The Adolphus is a landmark, almost a century old, opened by beer legend Adolphus Busch in 1912 and stands as shining lady of Baroque masterpiece with antiques, tapestries, and ghosts of guests past (including Queen Elizabeth II and U2 amoung others).
  • Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa — The Stoneleigh is where you want to be if you love a comfortable glamour. Set in the Uptown district, this hotel & spa puts the “art” in art deco. But it’s been preserved to perfection. You’re going to be just steps away from the Dallas Museum of Art, restaurants, shopping galore. If you can spring for it, the penthouse was designed by Carleton Varney of Dorothy Draper & Co.
  • Rosewood Crescent Hotel — The Crescent is located in the Uptown district near the Opera House and Wyly Theatre. This luxurious building is nestled right in a thriving, urban district and consistently stands out with accolades among hotels in the city. You’ve got everything you’d want at your fingertips — a spa, dining, even a Starbucks offered with celebrated Texas charm.

Design Sponge Southern Book Tour

6 10 2011

We all love our Design Sponge. The crafts, ideas, and just general things of interest I gleaned since adding Design Sponge to my reader program years ago has been incredible.  Grace Bonney and her crew, being the crafty and super smart people that they are, published a book this year.  The book is simply amazing. Seriously Martha Stewart better watch out, Design Sponge is the heart beat of the people!

In case you are lucky enough to live in or close by any of these great southern cities, make sure you stop in to buy your book, or get your book signed. Many of the cities are also hosting crafts as well, but you must RSVP (I know all of our southern ladies will of course).

Have a blast out there and craft away!

October 13Dallas, Texas

October 15Austin, Texas  

October 24Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina 

October 25Asheville, North Carolina

October 26Charleston, South Carolina 

October 27 – Savannah, Georgia

November 1 – Birmingham, Alabama

November 2Athens, Georgia.  

November 3 – Atlanta

Fort Worth: City of Cowboys and Culture

31 03 2010

Dallas gets all the attention. They even call it the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, the Dallas/Ft. Wort airport…

I’ve got nothing against Dallas. I love me some Dallas. Good food, lots going on… but it’s time Fort Worth got a little attention of its own!

If you haven’t been through this smaller, but still vibrant downtown, you’re missing a real treat. Sparkling with lights, filled with real life cowboys walking around tall in their cowboy hats, and all the Western fun you can take — Fort Worth was the last Southern gem we stopped at on our journey west.

There is a year-round rodeo to visit, more museums than you can shake a stick at, the Will Rogers Memorial Center and the famed Sundance Square.

So, if you’re in the area, or even if you’re not, make plans to visit this “City of Cowboys and Culture.”

Me and the hubs, enjoying some good Tex-Mex and some great mariachi music!