Tag Archives: Dallas

Sprinkles Ice Cream and Cupcake ATM

10 Sep

Sprinkles Ice Cream Dallas www.gustoandgraceblog.com

Have you been there yet? To Sprinkles Ice Cream. I assume you’re familiar with the now nationwide Beverly Hills based cupcake company, but did you know that they recently started opening up ice cream shoppes?

Sprinkles Ice Cream Dallas www.gustoandgraceblog.com

On our last trip to Fort Worth, we squeezed in a trip to the newly opened (Aug. 16) shoppe in Dallas. They had Thomas Jefferson’s Ice Cream Recipe on the wall. I’ll be adding that to my list of recipes to try. I hear the former president was a foodie.

Sprinkles Ice Cream Dallas www.gustoandgraceblog.com

It seemed their most popular offering was their cupcake sundaes, but I had to try a red velvet cone. I wish the red velvet flavor came across more, but the cone was delightfully thin and crisp. I think the fact that they serve “cake and ice cream” really sets them apart from other creameries, and the red velvet cones certainly don’t hurt.

Sprinkles Ice Cream Dallas www.gustoandgraceblog.com

Of course I had to use the cupcake ATM, so Anthony and I split a vanilla hazelnut chocolate cupcake.  There’s a 50 cent premium for using the machine versus going in the store, but it functions 24/7.

Sprinkles Cupcake ATUM Dallas www.gustoandgraceblog.com

If you’re lucky enough to live or travel to a city that has Sprinkles Ice Cream, I’d highly suggest going.

You can have your cake, and eat ice cream too.

Related Posts: Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream, Rice Krispie Treat Ice Cream recipe 

Advertisements

Engagement Shoot Reflections

8 Nov

I prepared for my engagement shoot the way I prepare for just about everything else. I conducted very informal research. I also daydreamed of cotton candy and corny dogs.

Anthony + Dominique Cotton Candy

In a rush of nervous excitement I asked my beautiful model friend, Kait, for tips the day before our engagement shoot. I questioned, “How can I photograph better?” Her tips? 1. Wear powder.  2. If you don’t get good sleep, use a YSL pen. 3. Avoid prints. She said dewy faces are pretty in real life, but not in pictures, YSL pens make you look bright eyed, and prints are distracting.

Anthony + Dominique State Fair GamesOur photographer’s, Jeremy and Kristin, directed us to their blog where they posted their tips on e-session preparation (photographer talk for engagement shoots).  I strongly agree with their advice to “coordinate, but don’t match.” On the other hand, I pointed my photographers to my Pinterest profile where I had pinned a collection of engagement photos I liked. I think it is important that everyone involved has an idea of what to expect from the session.

Anthony + Dominique Engagement Pictures

Anthony and I did not have any difficulty coming up with the location for our shoot.  We chose the State Fair of Texas, where we met. Our location was deeply sentimental and represented the beginning of our love story.

Anthony + Dominique Big 12 Love

After we split up with our photographers, we passed a kissing booth, a photo op I wish we would not have missed! But more than kicking myself for walking past a kissing booth without noticing, I wish I would have thought to ask our photographers to take a few individual shots. It would be nice to have a professional photo of Anthony to keep on my nightstand after we marry. Or I could use a miniature print for a locket. Maybe he would like a photo of me in his wallet. Or even a new profile picture for social media sites.

Anthony + Dominique Colourful Slide

For added fun, I stashed some simple props in a bag, like an ampersand and a chalkboard. I also grabbed a squeeze bottle of mustard out of the fridge, to write our wedding date on corndogs. I highly doubted my ability to write 4-27-13 with a giant pump. I have seen other adorable engagement photos using balloons and umbrellas as props.

Anthony + Dominique Corn Dog Date

About three weeks after our shoot, our photographers posted a selection of our photos on their blog. It was strange to see our photos for the first time at the same time as the rest of the world. It also felt funny looking at these pictures without Anthony, as he lives three hours away. About a week later, a link to the rest of our photos hit our inboxes. Though the anticipation nearly drove me crazy, Anthony and I decided that we would wait until we were together to view the rest of our images. It was very special to me to look at them with Anthony. It was a great moment to share together.

R.I.P. Big Tex

R.I.P. Big Tex

All photographs were taken by Jeremy & Kristin Photography.

The Perfect Wedding Venue

23 Sep

Bell Tower Chapel- Katie Norris Portrait Arts

The venue is the first big piece of any wedding planning puzzle. When I think of the venue Anthony and I selected, I can’t help but think it is perfect. We started talking about where we wanted to get married and we came up with two absolute criteria: the first is that we wanted to get married in Fort Worth, where I, and both of our parents live, the second criterion was that I didn’t want to spend more than a certain amount on our venue. Anthony narrowed down the options even further by saying he didn’t want to stray too far from downtown.

Another deciding factor in our venue hunt was date. We played hopscotch on the calendar, avoiding family birthdays, holidays, and the Texas heat until we came up with our options: April or October. We didn’t want the average 14 month engagement, so we settled on April and started our search. I added one more thought to the list of ideals, but tried to remain flexible: I wanted to have the ceremony and reception in the same place.

I did my research, and lots of it. I began online by looking photos and compared pricing. Then I sent e-mails and made phone calls. Ultimately, I narrowed it down to two venues: YWCA and Bell Tower Chapel. I set up an appointment for Anthony and I at Bell Tower via e-mail, then called YWCA to set up an appointment and found out they were booked each weekend in April. If Bell Tower didn’t work out, the search would continue.

Let me back up a bit. When I first saw Bell Tower Chapel, it stood out to me. It was the only venue that grabbed me. It might have even been love at first sight (if you can fall in love with a venue).  I had never seen it, nor heard of it. I didn’t know anyone who had gotten married there, but the photos, which don’t do the venue justice, spoke to me.

We met with coordinators of Bell Tower, and signed a contract. That’s it. One venue is all we visited. But it gets better.  As silly or insignificant as they may seem the chairs that come with the venue are, well, perfect. My colours are metallics. The chiavari chairs for the reception area are gold. Additionally, what venue called Bell Tower would be complete without a bell? Anthony and I are looking forward to ringing the bell after we walk back down the aisle together. Wedding bells will be ringing, literally.

There are a couple of other details that add to the feeling of delightful perfection. The Chapel was built in 1958 and designed by architect Donald Nelson. That may mean nothing to you, but it holds significance to us. One of Donald Nelson’s most notable works was Fair Park, in Dallas, Texas, where we met! Furthermore, the chapel was donated in 2008 to ACH Child and Family Services. They had no programmatic use for the chapel and gardens so they use it as a wedding venue and all proceeds support the mission of the organization.

Location. Budget. Timing. Significance. Support.

Venue perfection.

%d bloggers like this: