5 Local Small Businesses Where You Can Buy Your Last Minute Christmas Decorations

Decorating my home for Christmas has always been one of my favorite activities during the Holiday Season. Currently, Matt and I went to French Polynesia earlier this month to celebrate a late honeymoon. So I did as much decorating as I could before leaving. But, we still have a lot more decorating that needs to be done! So, If you are like me, and have a tendency to continue to decorate your house for Christmas all the way up to December 24th; there are some of the great small businesses around the area that are perfect for picking up some last minute Christmas decorations this Holiday Season. Here is a list of some of my favorites!


Decorator’s Wearhouse

Pictured are the Tree Bundles (In Order of Appearance: Natural Elegance, Farmhouse Christmas, and Winter Woodland). Photos courtesy of Decorator’s Warehouse

If you have as specific décor item or concept in mind, it is worth driving all the way to Arlington to shop for your last minute Christmas decorations. With 60,000 square feet, is one of the largest Christmas stores in the world! So it is definitely safe to assume that this amazing store is bound to have what ever you need this holiday season!

Decorator’s Warehouse has one of the largest selections of Christmas Trees; as well as Garland, ornaments, wreaths, decorating kits, and gifts. They also have some fun themed Christmas décor collections including: the Woodland collection, the Farmhouse collection, and the Platinum collection. Or if you would prefer, you could purchase one of their four Christmas Tree Bundles which includes the the tree, the ribbon, the ornaments, sprays, flowers and more!

City: Arlington

Directions

Lone Star Mercantile

Photos courtesy of Lone Star Mercantile

Lone Start Mercantile is one shop that has quite a few independent vendors. Each vendor sells something fun and unique. Some vendors sell clothes, some purses, some sell unique crafts, and spice mixes. However, there are also a lot of vendors that sell seasonal home décor. Of course all of their home décor is so adorable and cute! Some fun décor ideas include stockings, signs, and Elf on the Shelf Accessories.

City: Allen

Directions

Holiday Warehouse

Photo Courtesy of Waymarking

Holiday Warehouse is another great store that sells Christmas decorations all year around. Their décor items includes Christmas trees, Christmas Collectables, Ornaments, Garland, and Swags. For those who would like some extra help as they decorate for Christmas; Holiday Warehouse also provides decorating services for larger-scale private home décor. Other great services include: tree toppers, ornament/ribbon sets for your tree, table top arrangements, coordinating garlands, wreaths, and swags. If you and your girlfriends would like to learn something new this holiday season, get together and take one of their classes. They offer classes in garland décor, bow making, tree decorating, and wreath/swag making.

City: Plano

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Etsy

Photo Courtesy of Posh Picks Boutique

Yes, I realize that Etsy is an online business platform. However, there is so much great stuff on Etsy that is just has to be included on this list! Not only do they have great Christmas gifts but they have a bunch of other Christmas décor that I did not even know that I needed! There are so many great selections to choose from! All you need to do is type in anything that you may be looking for, including: Christmas Wall Art, Christmas Vintage Decor, Holiday Door Matts, Wreaths, and other Welcoming Ornaments. Also if you are a huge fan of Christmas Movies like Home Alone, A Christmas Story or Christmas Vacation; then there is also lots of fun items for those as well.

City: Online Store

My Favorite Room by KBM Designs

Photos courtesy of Carol Riell

Located deep in the heart of DFW’s favorite small town of McKinney, is My Favorite Room. This lovely storefront is operated by Interior Designer Kathy McCabe, who is also the owner of KBM Designs Interiors. My Favorite Room specializes in selling unique one-of-a-kind furniture and antiques, personal luxuries, beautiful art, and more. For anyone who is looking for a interior designer to make your spaces more beautiful, be sure to click here to make an appointment to discuss your ideas with KBM Designs.

Regarding Christmas, My Favorite Room does have some fun Christmas Decorations on sale as well. So be sure to stop by the storefront to browse through their inventory.

City: Downtown McKinney

Directions

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Cover photo is courtesy of Carol Riell


8 of the Most Creative Margaritas in Dallas

The following post was originally written for and published on Dallasites101 Blog. To read the full version click here.

One of the best parts about living in Texas is the artful adoption of Mexican cuisine into our daily diet. The margarita is (of course) an essential piece of that. While there isn’t a lot that beats a traditional margarita on the rocks (or frozen) there are also a lot of creative takes on the margarita around town that allow you to have some fun and mix it up!


CHAMPAGNE PRICKLY PEAR MARGARITA

TWO MULES CANTINA AT TEXICAN COURT HOTEL

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CHAMPAGNE PRICKLY PEAR MARGARITA: TEXICAN COURT HOTEL

Is there any place more perfect to celebrate National Margarita Day (or month) than at the Southwestern-themed urban retreat hotel, Texican Court? Their Two Mules Cantina is serving up a Champagne Prickly Pear Margarita to pay homage to the month of love. Made with Milagro Silver Tequila, Cointreau, prickly pear syrup, fresh lime juice, agave nectar and topped with champagne, the raspberry-watermelon-like taste of the prickly pear is sure to make anyone fall in love.

They top it off with a glass rimmed with sugar for a sweet ending to your sip! And if you’re looking to celebrate both Valentine’s and National Margarita Day, make a staycation out of it by booking a room overlooking the retro pool! You can sip on margs all night long!

IRVING | DIRECTIONS


BIG RED-RITA

MIA’S TEX-MEX

photo courtesy Eater Dallas

BIG RED RITA: MIA’S TEX-MEX

If you are looking for a really great dive Tex-Mex restaurant, look no further than Mia’s Tex-Mex, but don’t expect it to be a hidden gem with no wait- it’s a beloved Dallas institution serving the community for over 40 years. Do expect excellent margaritas, and for those who are fans of Big Red Soda, Mia’s Tex-Mex has a treat for you! They serve a huge goblet of frozen margarita with an entire bottle of Big Red Soda tipped upside down inside. This unique margarita costs about $12 and perfectly complements the one taco that Mia’s is famous for: their Brisket Taco.

OAK LAWN | DIRECTIONS


HIBISCUS CHAMPAGNE MARGARITA

MIA DIA FROM SCRATCH

Courtesy of Mi Dia

HIBISCUS CHAMPAGNE MARG: MIA DIA FROM SCRATCH

The Hibiscus Champagne Margarita has been created by the Mixologists at Mi Dia from Scratch to give their patrons a really cool “Wow” factor as they enjoy their meal. Served in a large martini glass, the bartender pours the Margarita Mix over the dry ice, followed by an entire tiny bottle of Champagne! Because of this fun presentation of this sweet and flowery cocktail, this specialty margarita is perfect for any celebration (especially birthdays and bachelorettes). It will also give you the perfect footage for any Snapchat or Instagram story.

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS


MAMBO TAXI

MI COCINA

Courtesy of Mi Cocina

MAMBO TAXI: MI COCINA 

How could we write an article about  margaritas and not include the Holy Grail of them all – the Mambo Taxi?! Mi Cocina has been around for decades now, opening back in 1991. When we first arrived in Dallas, we were told we needed to go immediately for some classic Dallas Tex-Mex. Upon arrival, we spotted a frozen swirl of yellow and purple on every other table – that was the  Mambo Taxi, one of the most popular margaritas in all of Dallas! It’s made with Sauza Silver Tequila, lime juice, housemade sangria with Pinot Noir, brandy and juices, giving it that Instagrammable swirl look to it!

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS 


ACTIVATED CHARCOAL MARGARITA

RESIDENT TAQUERIA

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ACTIVATED CHARCOAL MARG: RESIDENT TAQUERIA

Using his knowledge from his unique culinary background, Chef Savoie is able to create an amazing fusion of flavor in his tacos and margaritas. Think a Pecan Smoked Chicken, Glazed Pork Belly, Caramelized cauliflower, and Slow Cooked Mushroom. All of these tacos go well with their signature Activated Charcoal Margarita. Do not let the name fool you! It tastes like lemon (sort of) and makes you feel healthy, while still indulging in a margarita!

LAKE HIGHLANDS | DIRECTIONS


AVOCADO MARGARITA

MESO MAYA

Courtesy of @mesomaya

AVOCADO MARG: MESO MAYA

Meso Maya has some of the best upscale Mexican cuisine in DFW, with a focus on the interior regions of Mexico. Between the delicious food and Latin atmosphere, we love taking out of town guests to Meso Maya, but a meal wouldn’t be complete without the Avocado Margarita! Think muddled avocado, pineapple and lime juice, Cointreau and tequila. If it sounds like it would taste like a non-sweet smoothie, think again. It’s light and refreshing and it a surprisingly amazing treat!

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS


MATCHA GARDEN

JINYA RAMEN BAR

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MATCHA GARDEN MARG: JINYA RAMEN BAR

Another unique feature about Dallas, that we love is the amazing Asian Fusion food. Jinya Ramen Bar is one of the best locations that serves Asian Fusion in Dallas. Restaurant founder, Tomonori Takahashi, does a fantastic job at fusing Japanese Ramen with our favorite Mexican flavors. The Matcha Garden includes house-made Matcha tequila, prosecco and basil Green Tea Margarita is no exception and is sure to please. This refreshing cocktail goes best with the Slurp Up Cilantro Ramen, Spicy Creamy Vegan Ramen, and the Salmon Poke Mini Tacos.

VICTORY PARK | DIRECTIONS


THE RIMY RITA

THE RUSTIC

Courtesy of The Rustic

RIMY RITA: THE RUSTIC

One of our favorite cocktails is the Margarita Sangria swirl, but the Rustic puts a really fun and upbeat twist on this fantastic cocktail. Their version? The Rimy Rita which includes a goblet of traditional margarita and a sangria in popsicle form. You can either eat the popsicle and drink the drink separately, or you can allow the popsicle to melt and stir it into the margarita. But no matter what you choose, the Rimy Rita is bound to stimulate your taste buds and pairs perfectly with a warm summer evening on the Rustic’s huge patio and live music!

UPTOWN | DIRECTIONS


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Engagement Photos in Downtown Plano

Happy (Belated) Holidays! Life has been a little crazy recently with the holidays and the new year. On Thanksgiving 2019, my boyfriend proposed. I was so surprised. As I knew it was coming, I just was not expecting it until this year. So along with celebrating Christmas and New Years, we have also been planning a wedding. Of course, what would wedding planning be if we didn’t get engagement photos? Here are all the lovely details about our photographer, our props, and the location.

Photography: Daylilies Photography

Photo Courtesy of Daylilies Photography

We heard about Daley (the photographer) through my mom, who has worked with Daley previously. Now, those who know Matt and I will tell you that we are both extremely camera shy. For example, the photo below (right) is the first photo he and I have taken together as a couple, taken over a year ever we started dating. Daley did such an excellent job with helping us to overcome our shyness and become more comfortable in front of the camera. We loved working with her!

This is the only photo that Matt and I have taken together. It was taken after we got engaged (over a year after we started dating).

Daley is the perfect photographer for anyone who is looking for someone to capture their personality and relationship dynamics. She is a great photographer, not only for engagements but also for families, heads hots, and dancers. Even in some of the photos below include some of the dynamics between Matt and I. One photo includes a rather funny mannerism that Matt expresses a lot. Another one of the photos below was taken right after Matt poked me in the ribs (which is a rather sensitive area).

The Mugs: Fearfully & Wonderfully Made Crafts

Photos Courtesy of Daylilies Photography

Funny story about these mugs, I bought these months ago so that I could do some sort of giveaway during Wedding season for coffee and tea lovers. However, the idea fell through and I decided to hold on to the mugs for another day. Then December came around and I was looking for really nice mugs to have for our engagement photos. then I remembered these mugs and brought them with us to the engagement shoot.

Photos Courtesy of Daylilies Photography

These mugs were actually purchased on ETSY at Fearfully & Wonderfully Made Crafts. However, the owner has taken a break for the holidays. Be sure to check out their website, Instagram, and Facebook!

Location: Historic Downtown Plano

There were two main locations in the Downtown Plano area that we used. The first was one of my personal favorites, 1418 Coffee House. The second location was at Shinola.

1418 Coffee House

Photos Courtesy of Daylilies Photography

1418 Coffee House is one of my favorite coffee shops in Plano! It is a favorite for so many reasons. First, I love how they have renovated their antique little building and made it their own. The couches, chairs and the whole ambiance is very relaxing and cozy. Over the last two years, it has become one of my favorite places to go and work solely because of the warm atmosphere.

Photos Courtesy of Daylilies Photography

Or if you are just looking for a local place in Plano that sells locally sources, fair trade coffee and teas that taste amazing. Then look no further than 1418 Coffee House. They sell coffee that is locally roasted by a small coffee roaster that provides the community with Direct Trade coffee (Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters). Plus, they have some of the best Chai Tea around!

Photos Courtesy of Daylilies Photography

Now regarding the pictures. While 1418 is an easy choice because of the unique decor and historic location, there was a little bit of more sentiment to the decision. 1418 Coffee House was the location of our first date. It was the place where he and I officially met each other (in-person).

Shinola

All of the pictures that were taken inside, were taken at Shinola. This is a really great store for anyone looking to buy any high-end leather items. They sell jewelry, jackets, bicycles, journals, and other supplies for outdoors, travel and home. However, their watches are some of my favorite items. The faces of each watch are uniquely designed and the wristbands are so well made that they are sure to last.

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5 Coffee Shops North of I-635 that are Perfect for Working Remotely

Cafe Intermezzo

For those who are coffee or tea aficionados, Cafe Intermezzo is the perfect place for you. They have the best selection of coffee, tea, and alcohol around. I suggest the Cochin Masala Chai Tea, it is very spicy and perfect if you are needing a something extra to help you stay awake.

The amazing interior of Cafe Intermezzo is very luxurious and perfectly captures the elegance of Italian culture with its interior design. But do not be intimidated by the decor, it is a very eclectic atmosphere. If you are looking for a quiet place to work remotely or study, you will fit right in with casual dress attire. However, if you are looking more for a dining experience Cafe Intermezzo can perfectly accommodate this need as well.

What really makes Cafe Intermezzo a perfect place to work remotely is their hours. They are open all day every day of the week. Monday thru Thursday they open at 7:30AM and close at Midnight. Friday and Saturday they open at 7:30AM and close at 1:00AM. During the day, it is very quiet and will only play classical music.

Directions

Mudleaf Coffee

If you are looking for something much more casual that is kid friendly go to Mudleaf Coffee. They have been voted as the Best Coffee Shop in Plano in 2018; and they provide a great space for (literally) anyone in any circumstance. For students it is a fantastic place to study because it is so quiet. For professionals, Mudleaf is perfectly suited for working remotely. Also, they have a conference room that is available for rent and is perfectly suited for any off-site meeting. And for mothers with littles, your children can play in the perfectly instagramable play area while you do your thing.

Mudleaf Coffee also serves a fantastic selection of food and drinks! For drinks, I highly recommend the Lavender Honey Latte. Also while you’re there, be sure to try the Hot Kolaches, Rolly Bun, or the Monkey Bun!

Directions

Sweet Hut Bakery & Cafe

Photo Courtesy of Plano Magazine

If you are anything like me and you consistently find yourself performing at your best later in the evening or at night, Sweet Hut Bakery & Cafe is a great option for those who need to get out of the house! Sunday through Thursday they close at midnight. On Friday and Saturday the close at 1am.

For food and drinks they have a great selection. Their drink selection includes: Boba, smoothies, coffee, and food! My personal favorite drink item is the Chai Tea Latte with Boba and my favorite food item is the Bacon Cheese Fries.

Fair warning though, Sweet Hut Bakery & Cafe is also a Local hot spot for teens and it can get loud at times.

Directions

Karmic Grounds

Photo by Kelsey Andriot

Perfectly nestled among the Echelon at the Summit luxury apartments in Frisco. Karmic Gounds is the perfect quiet spot for anyone who has lots of work to do. It is at an easily accessible location on Ohio Dr. and open to the public (rather than just apartment residents). The location is perfect for anyone (students and professionals a alike) because it is about a five to 10 minute drive from Frisco High School, Collin College Preston Ridge Campus, and several other local businesses.

The menu is 100% locally (or close to it) and responsibly sourced. As well as some of the best coffee and teas the also sell micro brewed beer on tap and wine. If you are looking to try some thing new be sure to try Dirty Chai Tea Latte (Chai Tea Latte with a shot of Expresso) and The Texan Sandwich.

Directions

The Book Shoppe & Coffee

Photo by Kelsey Andriot

Because it is designed to be a place of quiet reflection and study, The Book Shoppe & Coffee is one of the quietest places in town. The Book Shoppe & Coffee is a Christian bookstore that is operated by Chuck Swindoll’s Ministry (Insights for Living Ministries). The interior decor includes a large fireplace and has a cozy vibe of home. While you are there, definitely try your favorite cup of coffee and their Quiche Lorraine.

Directions

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