How Big is Starbucks Trenta?

“Trenta” means thirty in Italian. Starbucks announced earlier this year their largest-ever drink size: the TRENTA. Right now, it is only offered for iced coffees, iced teas and iced lemonades. But how big is it?

Have any of you tried a Starbucks Trenta and lived to tell the tale?

Bravo’s Top Chefs Must-Have Ingredients

Last night, I was the host and provided commentary on a “Quickfire Challenge” between Top Chef Season 7 contestants Tiffany Derry & Ed Cotton to benefit Dallas Furniture Bank. If you are not familiar with Bravo’s Top Chef, a Quickfire Challenge is where the chefs must create a seafood dish in 20-minutes. They are able to request items that they’d like in their “pantry” to make their dish.

This lead me to wonder what are the must-have items that chefs always have at home. Chef Tiffany Derry always has on hand dijon, creole mustard, champagne vinegar, kosher salt and Creole seasoning.

Chef Ed Cotton focuses more on the big picture and prefers ground meat, taco shells, fresh produce and some canned beans to create a Mexican fiesta.

What are your must-have items at home to season up your food or items needed to make an easy meal?

P.S. Chef Tiffany Derry is busy planning her next restaurant in Uptown across the street from Bread Winners called “Private Social” this summer.

Boho Influences Spring Trends

Last night PinkMemo hosted “The Front Row: Trend Event – Boho Chic” at Neiman Marcus’ flagship store in Downtown Dallas. Almost Famous meets Jane Austen is this Spring 2011 trend, where ruffles and lace join forces with sequins and shells for a fresh take on the sometimes over-played boho chic. PinkMemo described the Spring 2011 to be “brilliant coral, soothing white and tres chic stripes.”

I was definitely taken back by how much coral, tangerine and other shades of orange were being displayed. It was a refreshing contrast to this winter’s darker colors. I’m also excited to see the wide-leg pants coming back in style. The outfit to the left is a perfect picture of what you will be seeing this Spring when you dine at Parigi or stroll through the Dallas Art District. The white peasant top with black detailing winks at gypsy drab and the pants flirt with sea-nymph nautica to create a collection that never forgets its quiet sentiment towards natural beauty. 

As we’re enjoying these lovely 70 degree days, the Manolo Blahnik Tassel Flat Thong Sandal on the right retailing for $395 with its feminine flutter is my must have sandal this season and move into Summer. For you ladies who need something a little more “uplifting,” the wedge sandal is back and will go perfect with those wide-leg jeans or the white ruffle dress.

But, I have to say my heart fell in love with this gorgeous coral Michael Kors Skorpios Ring Tote retailing for $995. You can wear it cross shoulder for those busy days on the go, or you can wear it as an oversized arm accessory for those brunches with your girlfriends.

What trend will you be sporting this season?

Rosebud’s Restaurant Is Sweetness

Officially known as Rosebud’s Giftique & Bakery, the sweet little family-owned cafe was packed at lunch time when I decided to dine. The restaurant serves homemade soups, salads & sandwiches, and the bakery counter is full of freshly made brownies, cookies, cakes & ice box pies. There were a couple of regulars who told me that they love the “Turkey Reuben” and not to forget to enjoy a slice of fresh pie.


I ordered “The Rosebud Plate,” which offers four finger sandwiches, a cup of soup, deli salad, fresh fruit salad and a choice of dessert or truffle. I really enjoyed Brian’s Special Chicken Salad which included red grapes, pineapples, dried cranberries and walnuts.  The corn chowder soup was delicious. But, the show stopper was the chocolate cream pie, filled with a wonderful balance of bitter & sweet chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream. It was the  perfect ratio of filling to cream.

I will definitely be back to enjoy this sweet cafe if not just to stop by the bakery and pick up a pie to share with others.

Rosebud’s Giftique & Bakery
5600 West Lovers Lane 
Dallas, TX 75209 

Kidville: Where "The Cool Kids" Are

Kidville offers a wide range of developmental classes including Little Maestros, Run Wiggle Paint & Giggle, My Big Messy Art Class, Big Muscles for Little Babies, Big Muscle Workout, Kidville Sports and yogees yoga 4 kids with Taylor Yoss. This location will also feature Play Village, two Big Muscles Gym, retail boutique and birthday parties. Silver Membership is free with enrollment in any Kidville class, while upgrades to Gold, Platinum and Diamond levels are also available.

Preston Royal Village
6025 Royal Lane, Suite 130 (NE corner of Preston & Royal)
Dallas, TX 75230

Green is Golden!

As I watched the 2011 Golden Globe Awards, I was green with envy. Some of night’s best dressed moms opted for richly-hued emerald green gowns. Celebrities often talk about living green, and this time Hollywood’s moms seriously followed it by “GOING GREEN.”

Actress Angelina Jolie, who is mostly seen in black, this time sparkled in a sequined long-sleeved Versace emerald green gown.

Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones chose a green hue too. She wore a Monique Lhuillier forest green silk strapless gown adorned with a sweetheart-neckline.

Who do you think rocked Green Color in the most stunning way? Share your views in comment box below.

Drybar (Dallas’ First Blow Dry Bar) Is Coming Soon!

My hair has experienced this magic miles away in L.A., but I was disappointed that there was not a place like that here, even though local salons are adding blow dry options to their menu. I love blowouts, especially for moms when we need a pampering to remember that we ARE beautiful women under all these other hats we wear.
Let me explain this salon concept. Drybar is a hair salon that specializes solely in washing and blowing out hair. They offer a variety of blowouts such as the Mai Tai, which is messy & beachy; the Manhattan which is sleek & straight; and the Southern Comfort which provides lots of volume & soft curls.
You can buy these blowouts in a package or purchase just one for $35. They also offer add-ons like floaters (scalp massages) and hair shots (moisturizing hair treatments).
Dry Bar Blowout Styles
(Photos  from Drybar)     

Drybar is opening February 2011 at 4222 Oaklawn Ave, Dallas. To learn more about Drybar, click here

Dallas Gets Lucky with The Clover®

Only once in a while does a true innovation like this come along.

A few years ago, The Clover® brewing system changed the game on coffee brewing. It’s an “innovative design that lets you discover new layers and dimensions within a coffee’s familiar aroma, flavor, body and acidity. The result is a deeper experience – one that’s carefully prepared and made to order, one cup at a time.” So far, the only place in town that you can find the Clover® is at the Knox Street Starbucks.

*It should be noted that I am not being compensated by Starbucks for this review, only caffeinated! This is just an opinion of a coffee aficionado. 🙂 Let me know what you think!

H&M Pops Into Dallas

So yesterday, I couldn’t resist the temptation of visiting the “H&M Pop-up Shop” located at North Park Center where the old Express store was located across from Henri Bendel.  If you are unfamiliar with H&M, it is a Swedish clothing company that makes affordable, trendy, quality clothes for the whole family. 

For inquiring minds, the store is very small and just a “preview” store. The staff informed me that each month they will rotate out what they are previewing. Right now it’s just men and women – not kids yet! Most of the clothes are black, red and cream. The “Pop-Up Shop” will be open until Spring 2011. The real store will open Fall 2011. 

Happy Shopping!

Are You An Average American?

I use Facebook mainly to keep up with friends and family. I try to avoid games and quizzes. Occasionally, I get tagged to questionnaires that grab my attention. Here is a recent one: BBC thinks the average American only has read 6 of these books.  The goal is to show the Brits that we, Americans, are smarter than what they perceive us to be. There is a little truth to this survey….unfortunately, we don’t read as much as we could or should, but it is not because we don’t want to. There are things in life that take our attention such as our job, our family or our volunteer work. But, what is great about this study is that it makes you evaluate how much you do read and what are books you might want to pick up this holiday season. Fortunately,  I’ve completed 25. 🙂

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen 
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3  Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4  Harry Potter series – JK Rowling 
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell 
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare  
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens 
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis *Isn’t this the same as #36?
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis Isn’t this a part of #33?
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery 
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood 
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert – the whole series!
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons 
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck 
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce 
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker 
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl 
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

BTW I’d like to add that this is the kind of “competition” that I enjoy, where we are challenging ourselves to read more, which in the ends makes us a more knowledgeable person. Bring it on, Brits!