Three Heel Clicks

Travel 5

Houston Hotspots: The Whimsy World Part 1

Fashion, Houston, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Photography, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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Looking for a fun place for adults and kids to play? Well, have I got a place for you to visit! Shelbi Nicole, a Houston artist and influencer created an interactive exhibit full of whimsical art installations for your family and you to come and experience. My daughter and I visited the exhibit yesterday and let me tell you… IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT! Upon arrival Shelbi greeted us and explained we were allowed to move props around and play within the space. We couldn’t be happier! Over the next few posts, I’m going to share three looks from this exhibit and tell you more about each installation. Today’s focus is the overall space and experience while I share with you a beautiful Winter to Spring outfit perfect for these last few weeks before temperatures start rising.

Located right outside of downtown, The Whimsy World sits inside The District Art Gallery. The exhibit spans across two large rooms and I was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t over crowded. You can purchase tickets for about $30 a person and kids 10 and under are free. It was actually less expensive for my daughter and myself to go than a Saturday evening movie. I love taking her to exhibits like this to help expand her mind and soul. I believe it’s so important to teach kids about art, history and culture from a very young age. You’ll be seeing more about this topic in the coming weeks as we have plans to share more about museums and art on the blog. Note: The exhibit is on display through February 28th!

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So let me tell you about the Splish Splash piece! It was probably my favorite in the space with a chaise lounge bathtub and fluffy cloud chandelier. If I could scoop up this piece of furniture I would in a heartbeat! It was refreshing to see how Shebli used a claw foot tub and upcycled it into a piece you can lounge upon. The lighting throughout the space was bright white making it an ample opportunity for photographs. I’ve never seen so many kids and parents snapping photos of one another. I want to note that although kids are welcome it’s also an exhibit perfect for adults.

Shelbi was so warm and welcoming. I briefly spoke with her about her vision and she has a few murals around town. I can’t wait to photograph those for you guys! Houston’s art scene is growing rapidly since I moved her a decade ago. More and more older parts of the city are undergoing gentrification and murals are popping up all over the place. (Check out the Sugar and Cloth Wall here or last week’s post where I photographed the Emerson Rose Boutique’s Florence and the Machine Wall).

I brought along a few outfits since on the Whimsy Website it encouraged bloggers and influencers to change in the Beyonce inspired bathroom complete with Beyonce themed wallpaper. I’ll share more about this part of the space in the next post, but it was perfect for an outfit change or touching up your makeup. I wore this long pink dress by Mother and Child (seen in this and this post) but spiced it up with sweet little bow flats and a casual moto inspired bag. I’ve been really into statement earrings lately and wore a pair of white tassel beaded ones for today’s look.

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I loved the pom pom room so much! It was so sweet and you can play with a few of the pom poms. I also really liked how every corner of the space is filled with something like the flamingo wall painted outside of the little booths or the striped pink and white wall beside the bathroom. It was so hard not to be there for the entire day photographing every nook and cranny. I would reserve at least an hour if you are photographing within the space. If you are there just to observe a good thirty minutes would be perfect to walk through the entire exhibit.

For tickets and more information about The Whimsy World check out Shelbi’s website here. You can also follow her on Instagram and Twitter

What are your favorite places in Houston for photographs?

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5 on Fridays - Five Spring Break Destinations in Texas

Fashion, Lifestyle, Packing, Inspiration, Travel, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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With Spring Break just a few weeks away it’s time to start booking if you are looking to take a little vacation. Texas is a perfect destination for Spring Break with it’s mild temperatures, sunny days and beautiful landscape. There are so many different flavors of Texas from the tumble weeds and mountains of Big Bend to the soft sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a beautiful, affordable, family centered southern state with many options for everyone. Today I’m sharing what to wear, where to go and things to do in five Texas destinations!

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Big Bend National Park

Visiting Big Bend National Park is a sight you cannot miss if you live in Texas or New Mexico. First of all, it’s absolutely HUGE! There are many little surrounding towns to stay if in if you aren’t up for camping at the park. You can also rent an RV and take it out there if you are concerned about accommodations near the park or ride the Amtrak instead of driving. Hiking Lost Mines Peak and the Santa Elena Gorge during the mild temperatures of March make this a magical experience. You can kayak to Mexico on a day trip or stop at the local shops in Marathon. West Texas is perfect for an adventure seeking outdoor vacation. Make sure to bring cowboy boots, a canvas backpack and lots of water!

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Brenham, Chappell Hill and Navasota all sit within a thirty minute drive between each other and Spring is THE time to visit these locations. With fields of indigo bluebonnets and poppy colored indian paintbrush wildflowers this area is the perfect destination for a countryside getaway. All three small towns have sweet little bed and breakfasts (check out the Red Velvet Inn for dog friendly rooms) and charming downtown squares. You can shop at local farmers markets or stop to have a bite to eat at one of the delicious southern restaurants. This time of year is a little tricky on weather temperatures. You’ll want to have a coat handy but be able to take it off to reveal something suited for warmer weather. You really never know in Texas. One day it’s 30 degrees and the next 80. Be prepared and bring layers.

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From the first moment I drove through this city outside of San Antonio I fell in love. The city is just plain beautiful. It’s filled with the sweetest bistros and eateries. You can hike down through Cascade Caverns or drive a few minutes west to visit an apple farm and orchard. Float the Medina River and see the Cowboy Capital of the town of Bandera, TX (John Wayne and many historic figures spent so much time in this part of Texas). Stay on a ranch by booking an AirBnB. You can also visit some of the surrounding state parks if you are interested in getting some outdoor activities in.

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Ft. Worth Stockyards

Nestled just 30 minutes west of Dallas, TX you’ll find that Ft. Worth is a popular destination for a national historic western town filled with musicians and local vendors. You can stop at the Ft. Worth Stockyards, shop the antique shops, go to a local dance hall and pick up a pair of cowboy boots here. Take a day trip over to Dallas for additional fun or drive into other parts of Ft. Worth for additional activities.

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Gulf Coast

This area is popping during Spring Break. If you are even considering going here go ahead and BOOK NOW! It fills up fast and there are so many beautiful spots along the Texas coast. Visit Rockport for camping on the beach or stay at Jamaica Beach along one of the canal homes where you can fish right off your patio. Ride the ferry out to Crystal Beach for the best sand with a picnic in hand or take the kids to the Kemah Boardwalk for a day of rides and family fun. It’s usually pretty warm in this part of Texas so feel free to bring along a few swimsuits and enjoy the beautiful weather.

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What are your favorite Texas destinations?

8 Houston Eateries for Valentine's Day Dates

Inspiration, Lifestyle, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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Since not everyone plans out Valentine’s Day dinner or dates until last minute I figured a round up a few days before might be useful. If you are here in the Houston Metro Area there are so many amazing places to grab food. In fact, Houston is a top destination for emerging restaurants right now! From food halls like Finn Hall named as one of the top 50 in the country to farm to table restaurants, Houston is popping with perfect places for some good ‘ol cooking.

Dish Society

They have four different menus to include breakfast, brunch (on weekends), lunch and dinner. They also serve handcrafted cocktails and source as much of their ingredients from local farmers as possible. Extra points scored for organic produce! Houston’s selection of healthy organic restaurants is quickly growing and Dish Society is a casual eatery leading the way. They have locations downtown, in the Heights, the Galleria, near memorial city mall and in Katy.

Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar

Sometimes I get a craving for hearty savory foods and that brings me to today’s post on Whiskey Cake. Whiskey Cake Kitchen is a restaurant here in Houston with delicious made from scratch and locally sourced foods. They have a rustic atmosphere serving simple farm fresh foods with flavors that will quench anyone’s palette. They are located in Katy on the west side of Houston about a 30 mile drive from downtown.

Crave Cupcakes

Crave Cupcakes has some of the tastiest options including the maple bacon which was one of my favorites! Their red velvet cake is also a winner.  They have a lovely pastel inspired interior and would make a nice dessert place if you are looking for something after dinner.

Tiny Boxwoods

Situated in the heart of Houston Tiny Boxwoods is not just a restaurant, but an experience. It’s not hard to see why it has turned into a hit sensation here in Houston. With a refreshing idea of placing a restaurant inside of a garden while encompasses an opportunity to socialize it’s easy to fall in love. When you arrive at the space you are immediately offered a cocktail while you wait in line on the beautiful green lawn. The idea is for you to mix and mingle with others while you await ordering your delicious food. The beautiful waiting area is filled with rustic tables, white linen couches and fountains galore! It’s truly a magical site.

Marvino’s Italian

If you are on the Northwest side of Houston and headed out to Cypress, stop my Marvino's Italian Kitchen. Both times I've eaten there I've had really great service and the food was delicious. Locally owned and operated, they provide an authentic Italian surf 'n turf menu. It's an easy to access location and beautiful atmosphere (feels like you are transported to wine cellar in Italy). The family owns a few restaurants in the area and I can't wait to try their new cafe Galiana's.

Sweet Paris

Last weekend I took a few minutes late afternoon Sunday to enjoy a little taste of Paris. I headed over to City Centre’s Sweet Paris for a delicious savory crepe. Crepes are a thin batter where enveloping either sweetened fruits and cheese, or savory items. They have a wide variety of delicious options and I ended up going with one that had delicious tomatoes, mozzarella and drizzled with truffle oil. I ordered a spiced chai latte (which was truly superb) and enjoyed sitting on the patio with glittering lights up above.

Tout Suite and Sweets Bakery

Head over to Sweets Bakery to pick up a few macaroons or a delicious dessert. Sweets has two locations in Houston – one in City Centre on the west side and Tout Suite on the east side. You will find an assortment of all different flavors of macaroons there. I picked up a couple of honey lavender to curb my sweet tooth. A macaroon is made with the lightest almond flour and almost melts in your mouth. Tout Suite is a full coffee shop with a macaroon bar and they serve wine if you are looking for an after dinner drink.

Ellen’s Cafe - Old Town Spring

Head to  Ellen's Cafe (which has amazing reviews) for southern cooking with healthy options. I ordered a potato, leek and asparagus soup which was perfect since I prefer to eat light on a warm day. They sell fudge and have a full ice cream bar inside if you want to just pop in and grab something quick. The staff was so friendly and the service was impeccable. Not to mention, they have a stellar patio equipped with perfect patio lighting for evenings. When I looked around for vegetarian options they were the first to pop up!

Looking for more Valentine’s Day Inspiration?

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NYE Spent in San Francisco

Fashion, Holiday, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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Today I’m sharing our night in San Francisco for New Year’s Eve! Fun fact: I started my blog back in 2012 and one of the earliest posts was in San Francisco over New Year’s. We took a family trip out to California that year and I had just discovered the idea of blogging after following Blair and Krystal. I found them on Pinterest and loved the idea of sharing outfits. A few weeks later I immediately started blogging on Blogger and the rest was history. I’ve been scouring to try to find the original photos but that was long before cloud backup was popular and my original post from Blogger is hard to find at this point. Anyhow seven years later I’m still around and back in the same city for the same holiday.

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This year I went head to toe in Express for my evening out! I have been an Express shopper since High School and love how current their clothing still is! I wanted to find a festive and sparkly number (like I shared in this post) and was so excited when I cam across this red and black number. Since I’m on the petite side (all five foot zero inches tall) I opted for a pair of strappy gold sandals (they also come in nude and black) with the dress to elongate my legs. With a simple metallic gold bag, a fun bracelet and gold earrings I was ready for a night out. This is also a really perfect look for Valentine’s Day so I rounded up a few dresses for you guys in the same hues and style (like this one for $21 or this one that’s has a floral pattern or this one with a silver ombre).

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While I was at Express I also found the perfect black wool trench coat. I haven’t purchased a black coat in… well, ever now that I think about it. I have a couple of blazers and jackets, but most of my coats are in color or white. I finally made the plunge knowing this classic style will be timeless. It went so good with so many different things I ended up wearing it for the rest of the trip!

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Although I’ve been shying away from alcohol over the past few months I simply could not pass up the wine pairing at dinner. We originally had plans to go to Benu but due to a mix up (ON THEIR PART) we headed over last minute to Mourad. They were so accommodating for last minute tables and their food was half the price. Mourad is a Michelin rated restaurant and we enjoyed an eight course tasting menu. Each course was carefully selected and curated with the most delicious wines paired. Eating at a Michelin rated restaurant is such a unique experience. You can read more about my experience at another San Francisco Michelin rated restaurant here in A Weekend in San Francisco post where we visited Sons and Daughters.

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Although we had an AirBnB in San Jose, we opted to stay at the St. Regis for the evening so we didn’t have to worry about driving back on a busy holiday evening. The St. Regis was still decorated in the most beautiful holiday decor and if you are staying in San Francisco I highly recommend it. They have an amazing location and their hospitality was superb.

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How to Wear Converse Sneakers if You're Petite

Fashion, Houston, How To, Lifestyle, Style, PhotographyCrystal JacksonComment
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I’ll be honest, I’ve never really loved sneakers. From an early age I preferred mary janes to keds. I see tons of cute styling options on social media but I never could figure out the best way to wear a pulled together look with sneakers. I usually reserved them for athleisure days or just going out for a walk. Over the past year as I’ve started working from home I realized this athletic footwear might just be something I need to embrace. For meetings and events I still wear a good pair of heels, but I’ve found more and more often I’m reaching for my various sneaker collection instead of loafers and ballet flats. If you are also new to the sneaker game here’s a few ways to wear them without feeling like you look silly.

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Pick a sneaker that matches your wardrobe color scheme

I wear every color under the sun but more often than not I am in lighter hues and pastels. Knowing that, I’ve found a couple of pairs of blush or grey sneakers I love. Because I tend to dress on the feminine side a pair of sneakers with a girly touch is a must. Low and behold I found a pair of Converse sneakers that aren’t too bright but are a variation of the original white ones. If you’re wardrobe is in darker hues, opt for a pair that works with what you already own.


Add a Pair of Skinny Jeans

Unless you are above 5’7 or super thin I’d recommend not overwhelming your frame with too much fabric. Skinny jeans are a constant go to for my petite 5’0 frame. If you are on the shorter side, make sure you DON’T pair them with trouser or wide leg jeans. Those will only make you look like you have clown feet. Save the more voluminous pairs of pants for pointy flats that peak beneath your hemline.

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Keep Your Accessories to a Minimum

Here I added a beanie and a simple plaid scarf. Don’t layer too many crazy prints with this look. The simpler the better. Also, use your accessories as a chance to tie in the hue of your shoes. The key to keeping almost any look polished instead of costume like is a clean aesthetic. Probably not the best time to pull out tons of frills. I love how this simple clutch (on major sale right now and comes in black!) is girly and minimal at the same time.

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Layer a Neutral Car Coat for Winter and Cropped Jacket for Warmer Days

This one took me a while to figure out. The right jacket makes a difference on how a whole look is pulled together. A car coat or simple trench is flattering with skinny jeans and sneakers. If you are looking for something simple to layer for a warmer day try a cropped trench. Again, stick to colors you usually wear so that your outfit items work together.

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Yesterday I sported my Converse sneakers over to grab a cupcake at Iced Cupcakery in Cypress, TX about 20 miles northwest of downtown Houston. It’s the cutest cupcake truck! I met the sweetest owners and they recommended trying the King’s Cake cupcake which did not disappoint! It was the perfect size with just enough icing and a delicious cream filled center. They have the best details like hanging bulbs, chalkboard menus and a sweet little tip jar. If you are in Cypress or on your way to Austin from Houston, stop by for a sweet little snack!

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What are your favorite ways to wear sneakers?

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