Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Very Good Year

What a great year it’s been! I can’t possibly reflect on all of the life change that’s taken place over the course of the last 12 months, but it’s safe to say that it’s been a good one. Sometimes it’s nice to just look around and take note of things in my life that make me happy; whether it’s the cereal that brings me a small joy each morning or the awesome trip I took with friends, I hope that I take a step back and really revel in the blessings. I have very high hopes for 2010 and will be ringing in the new year with some of my favorite people, which is exactly they way it should be. I hope that you and yours have a safe and happy holiday – I’ll see you next year!

10 things I love:

Oldies music - This, to me, is such a security blanket. I know that I have said it before, but I just love the comfort of an unadorned old song that has the ability to take me back. On a near daily basis I find myself listening to some overly-produced Top 40 song, singing completely wrong lyrics until I get to a point where I can’t take it anymore. It’s usually then that I switch it over to a local oldies station and find myself in the comfort of the Otis Redding, Van Morrison, Mamas & The Papas, and Simon & Garfunkel tunes of my childhood. For every new cd that I inherit or fun new band that I pick up, there will always be my steadfast oldies that I’ll run back to.

Blue Bell Ice Cream – It will come as no surprise to you that my list would have this on here. If I have to give up such simple pleasures as Blue Bell to launch myself to “foodie” status then I will happily reside in the predictable food zone that I am currently in. Not only is this a local favorite but this brand of ice cream dates back to my childhood. I remember my Dad pulling out the 1/2 gallon of creamy goodness from the freezer and treating us all to a bowl before bed. It wasn’t until my adult years that I realized his favorite midnight snack just so happened to be our good fortune. The Homemade Vanilla is just heaven, but I also happen to love their Birthday Cake ice cream and chocolate/banana Fudge Bars.

J. Crew separates – Let it just be said, I love J. Crew. At this rate, who doesn’t love J.Crew? They have just about cornered the market on affordable (almost!) trendy/classic separates. Usually my seasonal favorites start outside of my budget and then move closer and closer to the mark as they are put on sale. While it’s a little bit of a stretch for my pocketbook, I can honestly say that everything I have purchased has been the best quality. Take, for instance, a pair of gold flats that I purchased for $100 one Spring in NY. What started out as a questionable purchase, ended up being the shoe of choice for the hundreds of miles I blazed throughout the City. I kid you not, they held up through all four seasons. They endured the first ice of the year when I was still resistant toward boots, they trekked through rain, survived the hot pavement and came out on top. The same can be said for the perfectly hued t-strap sandals (my Summer staple) and the gifted umbrella that opens with just the right amount of force and holds up even under the windiest conditions – a true feat. J.Crew, I love you.

Brunch – What a vague love, right? Well, wrong. My love for brunch started in NYC and has grown throughout the years. I’ve always been a big fan of the coffee/newspaper/Saturday morning combo, but now, I have an appreciation that is far richer. My favorite little brunch spot in New York is home to a lot of sweet memories. Throughout our time there, we dined with new friends, old friends, parents, various visitors, and ever other in-betweeners. Alyssa and I had our tried and true system of “splitsy,” which happens to be one salty dish ordered and one sweet dish ordered and almost perfectly evened down the middle. When paired with a cup of coffee and some fresh-squeezed orange juice, it made for the happiest of Saturday mornings. What started in NY has transitioned to Dallas as I quest for my favorite spot. I have had a few delicious prospects and had the pleasure of taking it in with my friends in the process. I also love the idea of brunching when you travel. I can think of no better way to get acquainted with a new city, than a personalized recommendation for some genuine comfort food. So to all of the eggs benedict of my past, present and future...bon appetite!

My iPhone – I know, I know. I will wear the fact that it’s a cliché to love this thing, but I just can’t help it, it’s completely brilliant! I will say that I love the directional features and other responsible applications to prove that I use it respectably, but the truth is, I love it’s camera ease and ability to fill silences in my day-to-day boredom. Oh, and Twitter has never been so easy :) (follow me! @kristenandco)

Magazines – Since I was old enough to drive, I have created these little loner dates to bookstores and just sat in the magazine section. I could keep myself company for literal hours as I flipped through the glossy pages of all sorts of rags, women’s books, and shelter magazines. It should comes as no surprise that my preferences have changed throughout the years, what I once saw as pure glamour in my teens has turned into an appreciation for well-written articles in my 20s. And just so that we’re clear here, I still let the celeb gossip mags fall into my pile...

A good watch - Anyone that has known me for some time knows that I not only appreciate a good watch, but I tend to covet the really pretty ones. For as long as I can remember, I have worn a watch. There were my late-teen-to-early-20 years that I wore my sport watch tirelessly. Formal dress? Yep, my sport swatch. It wasn’t that I was even particularly sporty, in fact, I was downright’s just, I loved it. I would flip the face into my wrist and not even notice its absence until it was gone. These days I prefer a more sophisticated method of time. For years I have loved the Michael Kors gold boyfriend watch, but have never my let myself purchase one. I would stare in the store window and think of all of the great outfits that would be complete if only I had this watch. This Christmas my parents made it all come true and got me the watch. I can honestly say, I love it. It hits my arm at just the right spot, goes great with all of the outfits I had envisioned it would and best of all, it can tell a mean time.

Lucchese cowboy boots - They compliment any sundress, look great with a pair of jeans, and make you feel like a million bucks. The beauty of the boot is getting it perfectly broken in. I don’t know the science of it all, but I do know that I used to break an absolutely sweat getting those pups on and off and now they glide with barely any effort.

Coconut scents – If there is any scent that genuinely causes a happiness stimulus to my brain, it is coconut. For years I have sought after the perfect musky, sandalwood, coconut combo that gives off just a hint of Summer, but not too much. Alyssa brought the Bath & Body Works Lay It On Thick hand cream into my life and it truly balances all of it perfectly. Not only does it cure the most achy and dry of mitts, but it instantly boots my Winter gloom into Summer dreamin’. Another great scent is the Coconut Frosting bobywash from Philosophy. It also has an amazing blend of tropical goodness that would make Banana Boat weak in the knees.

Mi Cocina Rico Salad – I thought I would round out this list with another food item. Mi Cocina is a Dallas staple among fine Mexican restaurants. Before I moved to Dallas I had been here a handful of times and felt a little under whelmed by what they had to offer. The way I see it, you are either going to do Mexican food the right way (cheap, greasy and good) or prove to me that you’re worth the extra $10 and give me something that I just couldn’t live without. Well, my friends, I found it. This eatery has a fairly standard salad called the Rico salad. It is made with your choice of grilled chicken or beef and includes avocado, cheese (lots and lots of cheese), and bacon. This sounds pretty unusual that I would rave about a simple romaine salad with fairly standard ingredients, but the real kicker is the chili vinaigrette dressing – it is so good! It takes this overall simple salad into something crave-able. Not only that, but if you order the salad “mico rico-style” they will chop the salad into perfectly petite bites for those nights when you’re feeling a little more dainty. I recommend ordering it with an iced tea for just an all-around great meal, or their Mambo Taxi margarita if it’s been a long won’t regret it. So if you’re ever in the big D, hit me up, and I’ll go put our name on the list.

A few pics from a very good year:


  1. One day we will find out that the chili vinaigrette is laced with crack. Until then... I'm ready for 2010!

    (That rhymed.)

  2. Comments... Kate ALSO got a gold boyfriend watch for Christmas! Y'all are so the same.

    I, too, love me a magazine.

    And I am BEYOND thrilled to know about ordering the salad "mico rico style".... THAT'S AWESOME.