Going to Downtown McKinney

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I’ve talked about Downtown McKinney before in my blog.  It’s probably my favorite place in the DFW area.  I like the food here, the people.  It’s just a great place all around.  It’s also a great place to take pictures, and just down the road, they have a wonderful farmer’s market.

But recently, I headed to this area to check out their home decor.

I went to several of the shops, and if I’m honest, a lot of them were repetitive.  And a lot of them were like walking through an Etsy shop, but like the same one over and over again.  Halloween decor was starting to show up on the shelves, and this pillow was in at least two, maybe three of the stores – for the same 12 dollar price.12915

Of course, I love the pillow and the reference, just disappointed about the lack of variety in a lot of these stores.  But I did find some stores that stood out from the rest.

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The Antique Company Mall felt a lot like a mercantile or a flea market where the sellers own booths to sell their stuff.  A lot of it didn’t really seem antique, more trendy antique, if that makes sense.

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I didn’t have as much time as I wanted to really search through this particular store, but I’m hopeful that you might find one of a kind finds buried somewhere in this place.  There was a first edition or signed books section in the very back, though none of the books really stood out to me, personally.  It was still a cool place to peruse.

Another store I enjoyed walking through was My Favorite Room.  The name of the store, again, pulled me in, but I enjoyed this store more than most of the ones I had visited that day.

It was gorgeous, with grays and creams outfitting most of the decor.  There were linens in the back and these sewing mannequins everywhere in various states of decorative disrepair.  The only downside, like a lot of these stores, was that it was way too expensive.  I suppose one of the reasons that everything is priced high-end is because the rent for these spaces is expensive as well.  But I was afraid to touch anything in this store.

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This sign pulled me into the store because I love a lot of European decors, especially French or Italian influence, and this store did not disappoint. There were a lot of big pieces but none of it seemed like the other stores.  There were survey maps of England in the back.  And the store smelled amazing (they sell the candles that you smell).  The downside is that the amount of stock seems limited and high priced, but there were a lot of great finds.  The only picture I took was of the French pots in the window because I plan to go back for a few of them to put on my herb garden on my windowsill.

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And I plan to go back soon, anyway, because as I was walking through the stores, I came across Eclair Bistro that has a jazz club inside!  I’ve never been to one, so I’m hoping to convince Michael to take me soon.

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Despite the overpriced items and the repetitive products, I still thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Downtown Mckinney.  Every store I walked into, I was greeted by the people who work there.  They really seem to have a passion for their stores and the things that they sell.  I hope to visit other downtown areas in DFW in the near future, but this is still one of my happy places!

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Games and Ghosts

This weekend, we played board games Saturday afternoon and Sunday night at two different events.

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I won the game Saturday afternoon (we played 7 Wonders).  And I learned a new game called Chrononauts on Sunday which I lost, but now that I think I’ve figured out the rules, I want to play it again.

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Saturday night, Michael and I went on the McKinney Ghost Walk.  From everything I read about this event, it seemed like it would be more like a history of the area.  At first, that’s what it seemed like.  Basically, we walk to different locations and listened to storytellers, telling the stories of the buildings in downtown McKinney.  It’s self-paced, but it still took a while to get from one place to another, and about midway through the tour, we decided to stop and eat at the Celt (which was one of the stops on the route anyway).  It was pretty packed, so by the time we got done, we opted to go to one more stop.

We went to the Performing Arts Center, which was the old courthouse in the middle of the downtown square.  Before we went to dinner, some of the volunteers told us that there was a short video inside that showcased a lot of the different places on the route.  So when we realized how late it was getting, we thought it would be a good idea to go see the movie instead of trying to get to all of the stops.

But the video was not about the history of these places.  Instead, it was a video showcasing the local paranormal group, Texpart.  They showed all of the equipment they used and then showed a video of things they picked up using the equipment.  It was like an interactive ghost hunters episode.  Not really what we thought it was going to be, but it wasn’t bad.  Next year, we will probably go again, so we can go to the locations we missed.  It’s very kid friendly, and if you go early, most of it is in the daylight.  It is about ghosts, though, so I would rate definitely PG-13.

Also, if you don’t know, or you aren’t subscribed, I posted about these experiences on my vlog channel on YouTube.  The latest one was about the Ghost Walk and the board games (as well as a little mishap Sunday night).

On another note, for Halloween, Jerzee wore a Wonder Woman dog shirt.  We decided she dressed as a comic book fangirl.  Either way, she’s totally cute.

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Do you have any traditions for Halloween?

Are there any board games you like to play?

Weekly Check In – April 6th to April 12th

It’s time for another weekly check in, however, this one might be my last consistent one for a while.  I kinda figured that this would happen.  In fact, about a day or two after my last weekly check in, I thought about going back and editing it to say it then, but then I thought, why not do just one more week?

I’m not quitting altogether.  It’s just with the new job and the new volunteer opportunities at the SPCA, as well as some side projects, my hands are getting full.  I want to make sure I have time to really focus on my intentional goals, so I’m just going to cut back on doing the check ins.  I still plan to write my blog posts, and if there are any big events or news to share, no doubt I will share that with you.

So, like I said, this week has been really busy.  I’ve been preparing my new bosses for a weekend mission training lab that they are leading.  I’ve been working with the SPCA on behavior training, as well as working with a dog in our neighborhood (next weekend it will be two dogs).  Michael is about to go into another smaller version of a busy season at work, so this weekend we had a lot of fun going out.

Saturday night, he grilled out.  I have to say, he makes the best steak.  It’s just perfect.  After dinner, we headed to Downtown McKinney to a place called Emporium Pies.  We have been meaning to go for a while, but never really had the opportunity.  It was so good.  I had a french silk chocolate pie with pretzel crust and Michael had a bourbon pecan with shortbread.  It was amazing!

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The whole downtown area was open late for their Second Saturday stuff, meaning there were artists selling their wares all over the square.  There was also a wine tasting event, but we got there too late for that.  We were there for the pies anyway.

Sunday night, our small group went to the Pocket Sandwich Theater in Dallas.  It was so fun.  They serve dinner there (sandwiches of course) and dessert during intermission.  However, during the show, they give you a basket of popcorn to throw at the stage (especially when the bad guys are doing dastardly things!).  It was a neat experience, and I hope that Michael and I will find time to go back again!

So, that was really a brief overview of my week.  It’s been busy, but I’ve really enjoyed it.  I’m tired every night when my head hits the pillow, and I wake up every morning excited for the day.  I am truly blessed and thankful for every opportunity.  I hope you all have a wonderful week!

It’s a Doggy Mardi Gras!

I was raised just outside of New Orleans, so today is more than just Tuesday…it’s Mardi Gras!  I have so many memories of going to parades, marching in parades, eating at church crawfish boils, devouring king cake and looking at all the crazy outfits people would wear. Continue reading

Valentine’s Day!

Last weekend, Michael and I celebrated a couple of anniversaries as well as Valentine’s Day.  I’m going to break this up a bit and just share what we did for Valentine’s Day.  In the next post, I’ll go into what we did for our anniversary.

Saturday morning, Michael and I made french toast and spent the morning just hanging out with each other.  During the busy season, we don’t see a whole lot of each other during the week, so the weekends are precious to us anyway.  However, this weekend was extra special since it was Valentine’s for us.

Right before we headed out to lunch, we exchanged gifts.  If you know anything about the Love Languages, my language is “Gifts” and his language is “Words of Affirmation”.  When we get gifts for each other, we tend to keep that in mind.  Michael designed and crafted this necklace for me.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  I absolutely love it.  I made a frame for him that says “I love you because” behind the glass, and then I can use a dry erase marker to write the reasons I love him each day.

For lunch, we went to this little Italian place in my favorite Downtown area (I told you I would talk about this place a lot).  We each had pizza and leftovers of pizza.  It was SO good and the restaurant is really neat.  I had Farmer’s Pie pizza which was loaded with vegetables.  Michael had his own personal pizza with Italian sausage.  I can’t eat sausage because I have somewhat of a pork allergy.

After lunch, we headed to the local theater to watch William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.  It was being put on by the Young Actors Guild.  We weren’t sure how it was going to be since this was our first play at this theater.  It was really funny!  The actors who played Benedict, Beatrice and Dogberry were hilarious.  Even the kissing scenes and dance scenes were well done.  They picked contemporary music to play between scenes which at times was weird, but the production overall was well worth it.  We are already looking into going back next month for another play!

That was pretty much the extent of our celebration as far as Valentine’s Day goes.  Stay tuned in the next post for our traditional celebration for our Dating and Engagement Anniversary!

How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Second Saturday

Michael and I have a favorite place we love to go, and it will probably show on this blog.  🙂  There is a downtown place in our area that we love to visit.  Every second Saturday of the month, they host this event where all the local shops stay open late (usually, they close about 6 or 7 in the evening).  It’s a gorgeous area, full old architecture and friendly shop owners.  Everyone seems to know everyone else.  Being that I’m from a big city, this makes it all the more awesome.

One of our favorite places to visit when we come by is what we call The Salsa Shop.  There are shelves and shelves of salsas, butters, mustards, just about any kind of marinade or sauce you could think of.  And they don’t just sell them, you can also try all the types before you buy!  The first time we went there, I think we tried every single one that was available.  Now, we have our favorites, which we frequently keep stocked on our pantry!

The other store that we have really loved visiting is this dog store.  It is a store just for dogs (as far as I can see).  Along one wall, there are these homemade cookies that are made by ladies living in the nearby neighborhoods.  They come in all sorts of shapes, but I think our favorite are the squirrel shaped cookies.  They also come in all sorts of flavors – sweet potato, chicken, bacon, and several others.  Also, the shop owner is probably one of my favorite people in this downtown area.  He’s the kind of guy you can talk to for hours about the area, where to eat, where to shop, and the best people to work on your house for repairs.

Our last stop during Second Saturdays is the coffee house.  It recently is under new management, but it still brings in the small coffee house feel.  It reminds me of the coffee house we used to frequent in college.  The new owner chatted with us about all the new changes he made, as well as got our opinion on some things he was thinking about trying.  It was such a friendly atmosphere, and the food and coffee (well, I got apple cider, but still) was pretty de-lish!

Overall, we always have a wonderful time on Second Saturdays, but it really has more to do with the people than the things there.  I have never seen a downtown quite like it.  We look forward to our next visit there soon!

Do you have a favorite place you visit?