Happy Memorial Weekend Dallas!

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Yay, a three day weekend is ahead and we are EXCIIIIITTTEEDDDD. Tonight, after having a happy-hour-in-mourning for the closing of The Loon, Dallas’ best hole in the wall, we will be enjoying a rooftop dinner at Stackhouse (have you been there? The views are amaze), before heading to a concert in Deep Ellum. Saturday, we will attend our first wedding at the Bush Institute, which is sure to be amazing, and then the rest of our weekend will be spent relaxing at the lake. What are you doing this Memorial weekend?

A weekend at the lake calls for a big batch of these to be made. But any of these summer pies from Brit + Co sounds amazing too.

Watch the father/daughter duo singing Fancy. I pray this will be me and my child one day.

If everyone has Masters degrees, then no one does. Guess I better go get my PhD.

D Magazine has opened a new community called Be Well Dallas. It offers fitness class reviews,  healthy dining option ideas, and basically all things healthy and awesome. Dig in to the community here.

And don’t forget to check out these great Memorial Day sales:

  • Gap: Take 40% off regular price styles using code EVENT
  • Intermix: Take an additional 40% off sale products
  • Serena & Lily: 20% off of EVERYTHING. Use the code SUMMER20
  • Piperlime: Extra 25% off all sale items

Healthy Thursdays with Nicole: Edition 6

friend-fitnessIn my Ten Steps to a Healthier You, there’s an overlapping theme of accountability. Having accountability is such a great way to help you stick to your fitness goals. Three ways to incorporate accountability into your new healthy lifestyle are by having a buddy system, keeping a food log, and hiring a trainer if possible. Having this support system makes it easier to stick to your goals and have way more fun doing it.

The Buddy System-Grab one or two of your friends who you know you can count on. Try to find a friend that is similar to you in their workout times/style, eating habits, goals, etc. Then, come up with an action plan: when will you meet, where will you meet, will you report food intake or completed workouts to each other? A buddy can help encourage you to make better choices, and vice versa (and isn’t it always nice to give back?) In addition to being a support system, you and your friend can also utilize each other during workouts. There are so many exercises you can do with a friend. Here’s some examples.

1)     Partner med ball throw

2)     Plank high fives

3)     Switching between doing an exercise for 15 reps and doing cardio (jump rope, running in place, etc.). This pushes you and keeps you on your toes.

All of the exercises can be found by doing a simple Google search, or look for more ideas on fitsugar.com

Food Logs-Keeping a food log is a great way to keep a record of what and how much you’re eating. Oftentimes, we find ourselves mindlessly eating and don’t even realize it. If you’re trying to reach a certain goal weight, but feel a little stuck, try keeping a food journal for a bit to see if you notice any extra calories you might be getting throughout the day. My suggestion would be to write down at the beginning of the day what you plan on eating and checking it off when you’ve eaten it. This will help you stick to your plan. With that said, we can’t always be that rigid, so allow for some flex meals here and there. Part of enjoying life means indulging every once in a while. You can use a small notebook or journal for your food log. Or, WebMD has an awesome food and fitness journal that you can print for free!

Hiring a Personal Trainer- Another great option to keep you accountable in your fitness journey is to hire a personal trainer. By doing this you are investing your time and your money to become a healthier individual. How much harder would it be to skip a workout knowing you’ve already paid X amount of dollars and made a promise to be there? Good personal trainers will listen to you and hear your fitness goals, and will work with you on your fitness and your nutrition to help you reach those goals. As a personal trainer, I love helping others feel better about themselves, on the outside and on the inside. Promoting health and helping others achieve their goals is something I love being a part of. So do your research and find a trainer that fits your style and personality, but will be a great source of encouragement and support for you. To get more information on N-Shape Personal Training, you can email me at giordnm@gmail.com.

I have loved sharing my passions with you over the past 6 weeks. Please contact me at the email listed above, I would love to work with you or help you in anyway I can. You can also view all of my past posts in this series by clicking the links below. Stay healthy, happy, and active!

Healthy Thursdays with Nicole: Edition 1

Healthy Thursdays with Nicole: Edition 2

Healthy Thursdays with Nicole: Edition 3

Healthy Thursdays with Nicole: Edition 4

Healthy Thursdays with Nicole: Edition 5

by: Nicole Spruiell

Brown Butter Cookies.

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These babies are good. So good I don’t even think I have the words to describe them, so I’ll just stop now.

Brown Butter Cookies

2 cups butter

2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt (or a little less if you used salted butter)

3 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup chopped pecans or almonds (or a mix of both, like I did)

For the icing:

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

1/2 cup hot water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Heat butter over medium heat for 5 minutes or so, until it turns nut brown in color. The foaming and bubbling is part of the browning process, but watch it carefully so that you don’t burn the butter. Remove from heat, and cool slightly. Reserve 1/2 cup of the butter for the frosting.

3. Pour remaining browned butter into a large mixing bowl. Beat browned butter with brown sugar until the butter is no longer hot. Mix in eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat thoroughly. Mix in flour and chopped pecans. Drop tablespoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets.

4. Bake for 10 minutes or until light brown around the edges. Let cool on cooling racks.

5. In a medium bowl, mix the reserved 1/2 cup browned butter with 2 teaspoons vanilla, confectioners’ sugar, and hot water. Beat until smooth, and use to frost the cooled cookies.

Saturday Sangria.

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After a hectic week, we’re ready to sleep in and relax by the pool with a glass of homemade Rosé Sangria. We’ll be taking a trip to the Dallas Farmer’s Market Saturday morning to get our fill of summer fruits for our cocktail-berries, peaches, oranges, and nectarines. The breezy, not-t00-hot weather is perfect for a day at the market or spending some time on a patio. How will you spend this weekend?

We’re 2 months out from Yacht Week, and I couldn’t be more excited. Missed the boat (pun intended), on a Yacht Week vacay? PureWow tells you how you and 7-25 of your closest friends can charter a boat this summer.

Also on PureWow, check out Amy of Dallas Wardrobe‘s secrets to shopping well.

Say goodbye to Taste Addison and indulge your senses in some great food and drinks at Fork & Cork, a gourmet food festival happening in Addison this weekend. Get tickets here.

How excited are you that jumpsuits and rompers are still IN? Check out this bright floral romper from Shoshanna or search ASOS for tons of cute onesies.

Pecan Lodge opens its new location in Deep Ellum next week, will you go?

A friend of mine is moving to London for the summer. We spent a couple of hours last week on the phone talking about this etiquette guide to British life from Debrett’s.

And we can’t forget about the Byron Nelson this weekend. Get the deets on the schedule and leader board scores here.

Healthy Thursdays with Nicole: Edition 5

In my first post, I talked about 10 steps to a healthier you. My #3 tip  was getting new workout gear.

“A new outfit and fresh kicks is a surefire way to get you off the couch! If you feel confident in what you’re wearing, you’ll naturally be more motivated to get to the gym or hit the running trail. I will be sharing some of my top picks for fitness gear in the coming weeks.”

Buying new fitness gear is one of my favorite things to do. There are so many cute colors and styles out there now, and some even cute enough to wear grabbing lunch or running errands. Here in Dallas, there are tons of great options for finding the best fitness gear, my favorites being Lululemon, Gap, Athleta, and some options for the guys.

Remember Elizabeth, my yoga friend? She also works at Lululemon (or simply Lulu for most of us) and gave me a rundown of what you’ll be seeing in Lulu stores this season.

“Studio to street to out on the town…Lululemon is branching out! Lululemon started out as a store dedicated to yoga clothing and getting women out of their nonathletic “yoga” pants and their boyfriends old t-shirts and putting them in clothes that fit their bodies and were made out of fabrics that were designed to keep them cool, dry, and comfortable during a sweaty yoga session. This year, customers will begin to see more street-to-studio inspired wear. These jackets, shorts, shirts, and pants are designed to be functional wardrobe pieces that can easily transition from a workout to coffee with friends, work, and even dinner out. They are made with the same luon and luxtreme fabrics that Lulu customers are use to, and offer the same moisture wicking and sweat absorbing properties.”

Check out some of our favorite new pieces from Lululemon here, here, and here. And men, you’re in luck. Lululemon for men carries some awesome shirts, shorts, and pants for you runners, yogis, and Crossfit pros.

The Gap is another place that carries awesome and affordable workout gear. I personally have a couple of Gap’s pants and tops and have been very pleased with the products for the price I paid. The pants are durable and comfortable. They also have great top options that quickly wick away sweat. Discounts and sales at the Gap tend to be continual, and right now they’re having a 40% off sale until 5pm, and 30% off until midnight! But sorry guys, Gap only cares athletic gear for women!

Athleta is a sister store of Gap and recently opened at Preston Oaks. We have heard great reviews of all Athleta’s pieces, whether for yoga, running, swimming, or dance. I can’t wait to go check out the new store, I’ve got my eye on this sweater, this spring green bra, and this tank with laser cut detailing.

Feeling a little left out, guys? I got the expert, Chris (aka my hubby), to fill me in on the best places for guys to find cool fitness gear. Chris suggests visiting the outlet malls and Grapevine Mills or Grand Prarie, where you can find Under Armor, Nike, and Saucony. Luke’s Locker and Sports Authority are also go-tos for men’s gear.

There are so many other places to find great fitness gear, but this list will get you started. Look for items that you feel comfortable in, and try on different styles to figure out what works best for you. Looking good=feeling good, can’t wait to see you on the Katy Trail looking like a rockstar!

by: Nicole Spruiell 

This Weekend at Kitchen LTO.

tiredHello again, Monday. After a fantastic weekend of birthdays and late dinners, Monday was hard to get back to, especially since it’s a little dark and dreary in Dallas. For a little pep in your step, check out these quick energy boosters from Real Simple.

We’re hitting up Whole Foods Highland Park for a little happy hour, grocery shopping, and girl talk tonight, but after a weekend of indulgence, that glass of cabernet may be replaced with a bottle of sparkling water and a Suja juice.

Saturday night, we had preprandial drinks and snacks by the pool, then headed down to Trinity Groves for dinner at Kitchen LTO. The concept of Kitchen LTO is interesting…each menu and restaurant design only sticks around for about 4 months, hence the LTO (limited time only) designation. The concept had me a bit skeptical, but our trip over the bridge was well worth it. Dinner started off with a beet salad, topped with fried goat cheese, which had our table raving. For the main course, we ordered the Salmon BLT-an entrée salad of sorts, beef tenderloin, and the glazed short ribs. For the short rib dish, I substituted fig grits for the sautéed celery and parsley root, which the waitress happily accommodated. The short ribs were tender and flavorful, and are still sticking to my bones. That may be due to my rationing of the leftovers-dividing them between my morning egg scramble and a late Sunday lunch of short rib tagliatelle. Bravo, LTO, your short ribs are awesome. Our meal ended with the S’mores, a fiery (literally) masterpiece. Kitchen LTO is switching over to a new chef after May 31, so hurry up and head over to indulge in Chef Eric Shelton’s delicious American cuisine. If you can’t make it before May 31, check out my other Dallas short rib picks on Feed Me.

Happy Mother’s Day!

motherday2“The interesting thing about being a mother is that everyone wants pets, but no one but me cleans the kitty litter.” -Meryl Streep. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the awesome moms out there, and a special shout out to my mommy, Roxanne! I was blessed with an awesome mom who loves me in her own little special way (and cleaned up after my dog 1.35 million more times than I ever did), and for that I am so thankful! There are SO many ways we can celebrate our moms this weekend, whether you’re close by or across the country. Don’t forget to tell them what rockstars they are!

A favorite memory from growing up was visiting the Birmingham Decorators’ Showhouse on Mother’s Day weekend. If you and your mumsies are in Dallas, take her out for lunch and to the Swiss Avenue Mother’s Day Home Tour. There’s even a champagne brunch with live entertainment on Sunday!

Go see Sean Lennon (yes, that Lennon) perform with his band, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, at Club Dada tonight. I seriously love them.

Check out D SideDish’s comprehensive list of the best spots for Mother’s Day brunch.

Need a last minute gift idea? Love all of these.

And don’t forget to vote for Emma Margaux Miller for Kitchen LTO’s next pop-up interior designer!

Healthy Thursdays with Nicole: Edition 4

yoga1When I started this column, I talked about changing up your workouts to prevent boredom (because who wants to run on a treadmill every day?). Last week, I talked about high intensity and circuit training workouts. While these types are workouts are awesome for burning fat, your body can’t handle the high intensity all the time, and overtraining can lead to stress. The “stress hormone,” cortisol, is released when your body and mind are under stress, and has actually been linked to weight gain, specifically in the abdominal area. To prevent your body from becoming overworked and overstressed, it’s important to mix up your workout routine, and practice something that is effective at releasing stress and calming the mind and body. Enter Yoga.

The benefits of yoga are widespread and include immunity building, facilitating good sleep, fighting migraines and other ailments, and reduction of food cravings. The reason for this is that yoga trains your mind in addition to your body, and your mind plays an enormous role  in your fitness level. I asked my friend Elizabeth, a yoga instructor, to tell us about her practice and what it means to “leave it all on the mat”.

Everybody’s heard of it, and most likely participated in some type of yoga class, but what really is yoga? Yoga is an exercise involving both the mind and body and can have limitless benefits. Many people find themselves in their first yoga class simply out of curiosity or because it is known to help relieve back pain and heal running injuries. In my experience, these yoga virgins quickly find that the time spent on their mat brings more than just relief and rehabilitation from their physical pain; yoga also instills a sense of peace, and can be a place to quite the mind and simply be. Yoga is accessible to all, from the beginner to the advanced “yogi” that has been practicing for years. In class, modifications to make poses easier or more challenging can be easily taught and utilized. Don’t be intimidated by the mat! It is a place of non-judgement and non-attachment. It is a place you can go and truly focus on yourself and what you need that day from that practice.

Want to join Elizabeth in her practice? Elizabeth teaches at The Yoga Movement on Thursdays at 9:00am and Fridays at 12:00pm and at Trophy Fitness Addison on Wednesdays at 1:30p.m. Classes are open to all ages and levels! Hope to see you there!!

Remember that your weight loss journey does not have to be full of intense, no break workouts. Adding in a consistent yoga practice will give your body a much needed break and effectively strengthen your mind simultaneously. So grab your mat, take a deep breath and relax. Life is too short to be stressed!

Lizzie Bites: The Best Asian Food in Dallas.

A few years ago, I crossed paths with a tiny girl with a big heart and an even bigger appetite for life and experiencing all that it has to offer. This girl is Lizzie, and she is the newest contributor to 700 Zelda.

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Lizzie loves adventure, fashion, food, and all things new and exciting. She also is an A+ supporter and encourager, of friends and strangers…

lizzie2And Lizzie also likes the TAMU Aggies (ok, fine, we can look past this one!)

lizzieLizzie’s creative spirit and her willingness to try out anything new and different make her a perfect addition to the 700 Zelda team. If you’re ever looking for anything cool and maybe under the radar in Dallas (we’re channeling our inner hipster here), let Lizzie be your go-to guide. So give Liz a virtual high five and first things first, let’s get her talking about one of my favorite subjects: Asian food.

Lately I’ve noticed a growing trend in Asian cuisine and restaurants in Dallas. Chefs and business owners must have noticed it too because more and more chefs and restaurant owners have jumped on the opportunity to create curry, ramen, soba, and sushi dishes; and that just makes my heart oh-so-happy!

One of my favorite places to try out this trend is Tonoshii Ramen + Bar, located in Deep Ellum. Tanoshii highlights Ramen, the quick coking Japanese noodle you may have become familiar with in your college dorm room, except this is, like, 1,000 times better. The ramen bowls are delicious, with flavorful broth and perfect noodles cooked al dente. The braised pork belly steamed buns got a thumbs up too! The restaurant contains a few community-style tables, but there are individual tables and the bar has seating available if you’re feeling a bit more private.

Crushcraft Thai Street Eats-this is like my home away from home. The street style setup is intended to highlight some of Thailand’s popular native dishes (no, they don’t eat Pad Thai everyday). Diners order at the counter and wait for a number to be called. #2 Kra-Pao is my favorite go-to meal at Crushcraft and literally tastes just like my mom’s!  The Papaya Salad and Tofu Fries are also fabulous. The best thing about Crushcraft? They’re open until 3 am on the weekends, which makes for a perfect late night bite.

If you’re looking for something more traditional and upscale, Tei-An in the Dallas Arts District is a must. Tei-An introduced Dallas to Soba, a Japanese noodle that is more dense than it’s cousin, ramen. The chef and owner studied the art of making Soba noodles in Japan, and it’s obvious that there is some L-U-V put into those noodles. The quality of each of the dishes at Tei-An, including the sushi and sashimi, is outstanding and well worth the price tag. For dessert, you just have to try the ice cream drizzled with black tea honey. It’s so good, I think I’ve dreamed about it a time or two, or twelve. I finally caved and bought a jar of their honey to have at home. If you’re looking for a date night spot or just a more upscale way to enjoy Asian cuisine, Tei-An is a must. 

If you’re going to jump on the Asian bandwagon, you can’t go wrong at any of the three places I mentioned.  But, Dallas is quickly becoming a mecca for Asian cuisine, so no doubt you’ll find an awesome place in your ‘hood. If you do, tell us about it! We could always use another bowlful of ramen!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

sombrero

What a beautiful day in Dallas to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! There’s so much to do out and about tonight, check D Magazine’s comprehensive list of the best places to celebrate here. Weekend got the better of you and not going out tonight? Check out these recipes and fun ideas for celebrating at home.

Change-up from the traditional Margarita and get the recipe for a refreshing grapefruit and lime Palomina by our friends at The Bar Hops.

This Mexican pork loin and carrots dish sounds amazing.

10 adorable party ideas from A Night Owl blog.

If you know anything about La Duni, you know the Cuatro Leches cake is the best thing you’ll ever put in your mouth. Here’s the recipe. You’re welcome.

How cute are these printed Zimmerman shorts? They just scream, fiesta don’t they??

And this cute embroidered top from H&M would be perfect paired with shorts or white jeans (just don’t spill your Sangria!). At just $40, it’s a steal!