Dallasite: Yelp Elite Happy Hour Event at Eureka! Dallas

Yelp Dallas hosted their first restaurant event this past week. It was a happy hour at the gourmet burger joint, Eureka! in West Village Dallas. 

Eureka! is a chain that is located mainly in California, but also has a location here in Dallas. For this particular event, the menu was some of their famous starters as well as beers, wine, and their Moscow Mule.

Yelp Staff was kind as always, and it was great to see friends from Yelp and meet new people. I think the reason I love being Elite is because it forces my introverted self to go out and be social and learn new things about people I meet.

Their riblets were pretty good! 

Corn dog lollipops are a great appetizer to share with the group! The mustard sauce that came with it complimented it well.

And yes… they had brussels sprouts! They were actually really good. Kinda tricked me for a moment, made me think I was eating healthy.

Apparently these were beer fries! They were delicious and did go well with my drink.

I ordered wine the first time around and that didn’t go with any of the food, honestly. But this! This is their Moscow Mule and it went so well with everything, I wish I’d just ordered two of these!


We actually forgot to bring cash to tip the servers, so we ordered an apple crisp with ice cream, and it definitely topped off the night. It was the taste of homemade pie with ice cream. 

If you’re in the area, check out this gourmet burger joint! As you can see, they have a lot more than just burgers. I’m grateful to be a part of this event with Yelp Dallas. I was able to experience Eureka’s best! Here is their Yelp Page for reference.

Dallasite: MiniLux Highland Park Yelp Elite Event

Yelp Dallas has started their 2017 Elite events! There was actually an event before this, but I couldn’t attend due to a clash in schedules. This particular event was at Minluxe in Highland Park, Dallas, TX.


Miniluxe is a high-end nail and waxing salon, first starting in Boston, MA. In recent years they have expanded and there are five locations in the Dallas area so far. 


Miniluxe sets themselves apart from the usual market by being extremely sterile. Everything used on customers are sanitized using advanced techniques in their Clean Lab. They are also very customer service oriented and go out of their way to make each guest feel at home. 
 

At the Yelp Elite Event, they were offering color refreshes on nails and toes, facial waxes, and massages. Since I have on Nexgen nails, I couldn’t take advantage of their nail services, but I did do my first ever eyebrow wax, and now I’m not sure if I can go on without doing it again (pictures will come in later posts… muahaha). I’m considering having my Nexgen removed and having a Miniluxe manicure. The true test to see if I have cured my dermatophagia. If you’re not familiar with dermatophagia, please check out my article on it published on The Mighty.


Overall, it was a great way to kick off 2017 Yelp Dallas, and I can’t wait to visit the Miniluxe Salon in my area of Dallas.

Nicoco

OOTD: What is Home?

Coat – Urban Republic || Top – Forever 21 || Necklace – Target || Bag – DKNY

Where is home? I think I’ve found the answer now, at least for me. It’s like the distance of blue. Something you only recognize when you’re in the absence of it. When you’re living your life in your everyday routine, you don’t think about it. It’s only when you leave that you realize what you believe is home.

It’s complicated when you think of several places as home. Because how long do you have to be there to think of that location as home? Sometimes it’s only a few days because everything just clicks. But sometimes you can live somewhere for years and never feel at home. It’s hard to understand, but home is in the mindset more than in memories.

Some people say home is where the people you love are residing. But I don’t think that’s always true. It’s where you feel comfortable regardless of who is there. The human element of home is a big part, but also being able to be ok alone is important. Because nothing is guaranteed and just because you have memories so where doesn’t mean you’re required to tie that location to your sense of “home.”

I actually think that if we could overcome the attachment to the human aspect and maybe just the living aspect of home we would travel more. We would make more sacrifices to travel more because we would know that we wouldn’t be leaving anything behind, but rather taking something back, something that would remain a piece of us forever.

Going back to what once was my only home this past week was hard for me. I put on the fuzzy coat, stepped out into the cold air after being on a plane for the first time in five years, and faced my past. It was weird being back, but it made me appreciate my past as well as what I have now that I’ve moved away.

xo Nicoco

 

Fighting My Obsession with the Distance of Blue

It’s so hard to find what I want inside. I wanted to hide from the bitterness of the cold, the frozen tundra in my mind. It’s intricately part of who I am. Trying to run away from the mountain peaks, the snow drifts, the red wind-stricken cheeks, the dry skin from the cold air that falls upon me as I watch the sun rise over the horizon of glaciers.

I am and have always been mesmerized with the distance of blue. Rebecca Solnit describes the distant of blue in her book “A Field Guide to Getting Lost,” as the want for something that is not there. You can see it in the distance, the air particles casting a hue of blue in the distance. It could be a town, a mountain, something on the horizon, but once you reach the destination, you find that the place you were seeing was not real. It is the emotion that can never be explained. It is the place where you can never go. Places you will never arrive at. I see the future that seems so bright and full of meaning and when I live through it, it just seems so mundane and not how I thought it would be.

But then there is how I feel about it afterwards. Because I have left that place, that time, that moment, it is now again in the distance of blue.

The snow was always a pain, a loneliness that blanketed the Earth and all who tried to travel through it would be blocked by it’s silence. But now I long for those quiet moments in the silence of the falling snow. The warmth of the inside. The closed in emotions that are released in a starry chilled night drive when you can see the entire sky opening up, the pressure of the daytime clouds dispersing. And I miss it dearly.

I don’t think moving any particular place will solve my problem regarding the distance of blue. The hues of blue will always be where I am not. I think the solution is within. But I am scared. It is within my passion for writing. I am scared of what I will sacrifice, what it will take to learn and master the craft, how I will learn to connect people to my writing. Writing is not an easy task when doing it well. To do it well, you must be able to transport your audience to that moment and engage all senses so they will feel and understand the meaning of your words.

The distance of blue is what attracts me to traveling, and sometimes I forget how vast the travel within the mind can be. I can be anywhere I want to be in my mind. Those who cannot think like a child will have a hard time. The people who have been hit so hard with reality that they cannot imagine their inner world. I don’t want to forget about my inner world. That is where memories and imagination is skewed, travel is possible, and from where the greatest inspirations grow from. The next step is writing those inspirations down.

Nicoco

Deepest Blue

  

 
  
   
   
    
 
   
 
   
   
   
   
   

    

       

  

   
   
  
Day 1 OOTD:

Top and jeans – Forever 21

Bag – Calvin Klein

Shoes – Dollhouse

Day 2 OOTD:

Dress – Forver 21

Shoes – Coach

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Vermillion by Maduk. That was my Corpus Christi song when we decided to move there last year. We had no idea what to expect, but we knew we had to see it for ourselves eventually. 
Corpus is a beach town. The wind is relentless, salt is in the air, sand is scattered. Palm trees inhabit the streets, the sun shines strong through the clouds that love so quickly through the sky. And of course, the ocean quietly captures your mind as soon as you see it’s vastness. It’s a peaceful town. It’s untouched by the rush of the cities like Dallas, Austin, San Antonio or Houston. It’s almost an oasis. Yet, it’s still in style, still up with the times. And still a Texas town. 
We explored the campus of Texas A&M University that was located on a small island off the cove, right before Padre Island. Everything was new and white, but still seemed eroded by the winds. That’s one thing that’s unavoidable in Texas: the winds. It’s because the land is so flat. And even more so in Corpus because the winds came from the ocean off the Gulf. 
The beaches were cold, so all we could do is take pictures and scatter sand all over our car. But I can tell these beaches will be super nice in April and through the autumn. They are clean, spacious and tropical. 
We spent the rest of the day exploring the area, contemplating if we could ever live here. It’s more peaceful than Dallas, but also has less resources. They had one mid-sized mall. We have six or seven huge luxury malls in the area. They have one Asian store. We have at least four well know major stores and tons of smaller ones. But what they have that we don’t is the beach. 
After visiting, I’m not sure if I could live there. I’d have to change my mindset. Dallas has spoiled me. And although I miss the salty wind and the humid air, I was glad to see the Dallas skyline the night we returned. 

Keep Austin Weird

    
  
   
   
    
  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

   
  
OOTD:

Top – Target

Yoga Pants – Artizia

Jean Jacket – Thrifted

Bag – Calvin Klein

Sunglasses – Guess

Shoes – Coach

Coat – Forever 21

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Oh Austin. The city we have been dying to see in person ever since seeing the feature on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations TV series. 
One of my best friends from high school traveled all the way from the North East to visit me here in Texas, and last minute we decided to turn it into a whirlwind road trip. Starting in Dallas, the closest city to us is Austin. So after a 3.5 hour drive, we made it to Austin. 
It’s definitely a quirky city. It was different than what I thought if would be; it’s not like on TV. The inner city looks like Dallas, but with a less advanced road system. The outskirts of the city are filled with artsy wall graffiti, especially near the University of Texas. The overall feel of the city is young and experimental. There are more hills and winding roads than Dallas, but as far as living, I think I prefer Dallas. The artsy district of Austin reminds me of a larger version of Deep Ellum, which is a subdistrict of Dallas. 
The absolute best part about Austin is the food. I mean, of course there is the famous Franklin BBQ, but the best food comes from the huge variety of food trucks. We have food trucks in Dallas too, but not with the same availability as Austin. Everything we ate there was superb. My favorite food was the ceviche from a teeny tiny food stand near the Uni called Ceviche. It’s a Peruvian cuisine stand that is a one man show with super fresh ingredients. My favorite experience in Austin was being at the Spider House Bar at night. 
Overall, it was a great food experience, but I still prefer Dallas to Austin. And the traffic was as bad as my Dallas friends told me it would be. I thought Dallas was bad, but it’s nothing compared to Austin!
Next time I’m coming for Franklin’s BBQ!
ღ nicoco

Rückkehrunruhe |My Fading Memories

  
This is my fading memory.

I remember the walls of graffiti as our car flew through the Bronx. It was another world that I never knew, but wished to understand. I always thought about what it would be like to live in a huge city. The busy life, the great presence of society, arts and culture, they all fascinated me. But they were only an afterthought in and out of our way to Long Island, NY.

The drives back were even more captivating. The path through Newark, NJ was full of industrial messes scattered across the landscape. It was crazy to see how many stories there must have been in that city.

And sometimes when we reached the regular forest landscapes that we were used to, it was hard to believe any of what I had seen even existed.

It happened even more with our trips to other places.

Coming home from beach vacations were always the worst. It would feel like paradise for that week, or weekend. But on the drives home, I would lose myself in the memories while staring out the window into the pools of blue peeking out from the clouds. The sun was just the same as when I was at the sea, but yet different. It was hard to imagine that it was the same sun that lit up my memories at the ocean. It never mattered which beach we went to; it was always the same afterwards.

And in the weeks leading away, when we were back in our normal lives, it began to become difficult to differentiate those memories with my own fantasies. Did it really happen? Or was it just in my mind?

The mind tends to only remember that good parts about vacations and trips. Those times are when our senses were heightened and we savored each moment of happiness. We remember how we felt when we were away from home.

Was the sky really that blue and clear on that open road in the desert? Did the mesas turn a charcoal black in the sunsets? Did it really feel like soaring through the sky as we drove through the canyons?

And we forget about the moments that made the trip “imperfect,” and therefore “tangible.”

But this happens also when we move from one place to another. We remember the good places we lived and we feel bittersweet in the fact that they don’t feel like they were ever reality at all, despite the fact that they were some of the hardest times of our lives.

The most terrible time I experienced this was when I came back from Chiang Mai, Thailand. I had left my husband there, my memories, all of my feelings. Everything was definitely ingrained into my mind during the three months I lived there. And when I returned home, I remember the deepest sinking depression. It was as if nothing I had experienced had been real. Nobody could relate to it. And worst of all, it was almost as if he wasn’t real either.

I would dream of wandering through the mountains in Chiang Mai. I would dream of strolling through the dusty streets in the summer heat. I would dream of the way the sun slowly faded behind the mountains and the cool breeze would rip through my skin as we rode through the city on the motorcycle. I would dream so vividly of the feelings, the aromas, the visuals and the tastes of Thailand.

It would hurt so much whenever I would awake.

Because I never knew, until each time I awoke, how much was slipping away from my memory.

I still long for those experiences I had in Thailand, and that was four years ago now.

Even now that I’ve moved here to Texas, I have bittersweet memories of my hometown in PA. And I know that it’s the same feeling as always setting in.

The feeling of Rückkehrunruhe.

Rückkehrunruhe

n. the feeling of returning home after an immersive trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness—to the extent you have to keep reminding yourself that it happened at all, even though it felt so vivid just days ago—which makes you wish you could smoothly cross-dissolve back into everyday life, or just hold the shutter open indefinitely and let one scene become superimposed on the next, so all your days would run together and you’d never have to call cut. (from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows)

Vitruvian Park | December in Dallas

I can’t believe it’s December already. This year was literally insane. I never thought I would be here by now. Especially wouldn’t have expected myself to be wandering this quiet world of lights…. Vitruvian Park in Addison, a suburb of Dallas.

vitruvian park

The pictures don’t even do it justice. You have to be there. I recommend visiting Vitruian Park if you are in the DFW area in the holiday season. The water from the rivers reflect the lights so perfectly like a mirror. Looking down into the water, you forget what is reality and what is illusion. Funny, I do that every day anyway.

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There’s a little cafe up in that circle there. It’s so peaceful; there were hardly any people out, despite the fact that it wasn’t that cold (maybe 35 -40 F?), and it wasn’t that late at night either. It was like being lost in a magical forest, for lack of better descriptions. There were a bunch of high society apartment complexes around the park as well. I can’t imagine how breathtaking it must be to look down from your balcony and see this from above.

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Vitruvian Park seems like it would be the perfect place to go on a first date, or propose to someone. I can’t wait to see what it looks like in the spring and summer! I don’t know why, but Addison seems to have the best outdoor activities around here. It’s so encouraging that we keep finding ourselves on adventures by accident. I love it.

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And I’ll end this with pictures of my fluffy earmuffs. Just so I don’t get caught fooling anyone, yes, these OOTD pictures were taken at the Shops at Legacy in Plano/Frisco area.

~Nicoco

Weekend Diary: Adventures with You

Dear Ice,

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I’m glad we found each other. There’s no one I’d rather wander this Earth with…

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Through all of the difficult times, you’ve supported me…

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You’ve lifted me up to continue to find my dream…

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We’ve laughed so hard together…

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And we understand each other’s silences….

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I’m sorry because I’m not a perfect wife…. But I promise I will try ever day to be there for you….

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Think of all the places we still have to discover…

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This Earth is so vast….

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I hope I can always make you smile the way you make me smile….

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And that we’ll still be able to enjoy food together without getting unhealthy….

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Thank you for taking care of me…

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And for staying with me through all of this time…

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Here’s to many more adventures.

Sincerely,

Your wife.

 

OOTD: Jacket – Forever21 | Yoga pants – Victoria’s Secret | Purse – Calvin Klein

Ponders

  
How does it feel to wander from the prison to the ends of the Earth? Where the sky engulfs the atmosphere and the sun burns through your vision. It’s intense, and you feel so small. The wind that blows through the flat land makes you realize that this world is so large… so many places to escape to, so many secrets to find, stories to make. It’s amazing to think that this life has the potential to hold some of the most precious moments that you would never have been able to imagine.

Just these small moments, wandering through the fields out in the endless blue skies can make your senses heightened, pulsing through your veins.