Monday, January 20, 2014

Dallas Restaurant Review: Spiral Diner

4.5 rating out of 5

Spiral Diner is located in South Dallas and is known for having a 100% vegan menu. For those who LOVE meat (like me) and couldn't possibly imagine life without meat--I know that this sounds completely boring and tasteless.  But...I dare you to give Spiral Diner a will definitely make a believer out of you.  They have everything from "faux" milkshakes to loaded nachos to vegan soul food.  Ok...I see you're still not convinced.  If you can get over the mere fact that the milkshakes are made from almond milk and the loaded nachos are drizzled with a vegetable based cheese...then I know you will REALLY enjoy this diner.  It is truly a gem. 

Spiral Diner: 1101 N. Beckley Ave., Dallas, TX 75203

My mom and I went to Spiral Diner after church one Sunday and since we were under a spiritual fast through church that removed meat from our diets, Spiral Diner seemed like the natural choice. Tip: If you go to Spiral Diner, there will be a either get there super early or wait until after 1:30PM, otherwise you will be caught in the "after church" crowd and will have to wait at least 45 minutes to an hour.

Upon my arrival I was super parched, so as soon as we were seated, I ordered an Oogave watermelon cream soda. It was soooo good.  I think I ended up having 4 glasses. Oogave is an all-natural organic soda with no chemicals, no GMO products and it's caffeine free. It was delicious! If you don't want to go to Spiral Diner for worries, I've spotted Oogave at Central Market several times.

Oogave Watermelon Cream Soda
Then I ordered the pancakes with blueberries, tofu scrambler and vegan sausage.  It was amazing!  But...the pancakes were seriously (hands down) some of the best pancakes that I have EVER had.  The next time I go back to Spiral Diner...I will ONLY be getting the pancakes..a FULL STACK! They were served with an agave syrup...but seriously, the syrup was not even necessary because the pancakes were just that good.

Blueberry Pancakes w/ vegetable margarine, vegan sausage and tofu scrambler...yum!
I am definitely interested in going back and tasting more items off of the menu...such as the milkshakes, the nachos and the soul food ribs/mac-n-cheese.  I can't wait!  If you do venture out and try Spiral Diner, let me know.  I'm interested in knowing what you think.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Natural Hair's Best Friend: A Darn Good Shower Cap

Every naturalista knows that it takes an insane amount of time to twist and lock hair, to bantu twist or to do an intricate protective style...only to step outside or into humidity to have the hair fall or frizz. One of the best things a natural hair girl can do for her hair is to protect it when she showers, whether the hair is still in twists or in a full fro.

I've gone through my fair share of shower caps, some specially ordered and others recommended by some of my fabulous natural hair friends, but I must say...that the shower cap that tops all and is a MUST for a natural hair diva, is from the Dry Bar.

The Best Shower Cap Ever! Photo Credit:

I purchased this shower cap for $15.00 at the Dry Bar when I was waiting on my sister-in-law to get her hair done over a month ago.  The inside is lined with terry cloth and it's super thick...and there is NO WAY that water or moisture is getting inside to ruin your hair.

Purchase this shower cap on location at the Dry Bar or online and I promise you will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Moschino Pre-Fall Collection: Worth the Spend or Just a Trend?

Sometimes I take a look at what apparel items are released in the fashion world and just scream "WHY?!" 
All the rage on Instagram right now are the subtle droppings of photos of the Moschino Pre-Fall handbag collection designed by the new creative director, Jeremy Scott.  I'm not going to lie...the handbags are definitely eye-catching, interesting and make for a good editorial; but who else besides the Hollywood elite will actually wear these bags?

Moschino handbags are not exactly the most expensive when it comes to designer handbags but if I'm going to spend $500 - $1,200 on a handbag...then it better be functional, multi-faceted and still in fashion 5-10 years down the road.  That's just my two sense on these new bags that look like jackets.  Very artistic...very creative, but my jacket goes on my back...not my arm.

I'm curious...what are your thoughts on the Moschino Pre-Fall handbag collection?  Is it worth the spend to you or just a trend???

Photo Credit: Jane H. Bishop for

All photos credit to Moschino

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Dallas Restaurant Review: The Island Spot

3.0 rating out of 5

So me and a friend (who is half Jamaican) set out on a quest to eat Jamaican food in Dallas. Ever since I went to school in upstate New York where the Caribbean influence is heavy, I have had an infinity for Caribbean food.  However, I must admit...I was not as well-versed into Jamaican food as I thought.  My friend was going to cook me ackee and saltfish but wouldn't you know it....Dallas does not sell ackee anywhere!  So that's how we ended up at The Island Spot.  The Yelp reviews were good so what was there to lose?

First off, the decor and the ambiance is priceless. An "A" for ambiance for sure! I literally felt like I was dropped off on an island and on vacation.  My friend just stared at me like I was crazy because I was swaying back and forth to the reggae music and getting into full-on vacation mode in the middle of December.  I ordered a rum punch as soon as the waitress came around...and proceeded to imagine that I was in Jamaica.

Jamaican Rum Punch

After I stopped pretending that I was in an amazing swimsuit, with an amazing body and surrounded by beautiful blue waters with sand between my toes...I decided that we needed to taste anything "jerk"...because that would be the true test of whether I would refer The Island Spot to anyone.  So we ordered the Jerk Chicken Wings as an appetizer.  They were excellent!  Definitely a must-have if you visit this restaurant.

Jerk Chicken Wings (I apologize for the picture...maybe the presentation should have been better by the restaurant?  But in any event, it was amazing!)

So after stuffing our faces with the Jerk chicken we looked forward to the actual entrees which was of course the Ackee and Saltfish that I have come to learn is a Jamaican staple food and then I ordered Ox Tails with saffron rice and spinach.  I just had a craving for ox tails...what can I say? Let's start with my ox tails...

Ox Tails w/ Saffron Rice and Spinach

So sadly I was disappointed in my ox tails.  They were "ok". They lacked fact it was bland.  Just to make sure my taste buds wasn't off, I offered my friend several bites and he confirmed that they were at best a 3 out of 5 rating.  The spinach was great...but who can mess up spinach?  *Sigh* Really disappointed with this.  Fatkid Foodie Fail.  Moving onto the ackee and saltfish...please dear God let it be better.  Leah hates to waste a meal on less than desirable food.

Ackee and Saltfish w/ Cabbage and Rice & Peas

So I fell in love with the ackee and saltfish. The seasoning and flavors were a great blend. I wasn't aware that this dish had a tomato base to it which was a great addition. My one complaint was that the saltfish was scarce.  I joked to my friend, "Can I get some saltfish with my ackee?" Now, my friend coming from Jamaican roots said that the ackee and saltfish was "ok" and that his grandmother makes it better...but is that really fair?  We always will think our family can make signature dishes better.  So his opinion, while I'm keeping it in mind...doesn't really weigh on my thoughts as the non-Jamaican. haha!

I will definitely be giving The Island Spot another try as far as trying out different entrees but I can say that I left more disappointed than satisfied.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

All That Glitters Is Gold

Coming up with this year's New Year's party outfit was a bit difficult because the venue for the party I was attending was between casual and "God knows what."  So I figured you can't go wrong with mixing a little sequin bling with some faux leather and an awesome blazer.  One thing I've can NEVER go wrong when you fall back on your go-to blazer.  Whether casual or dressy, the blazer can absolutely make the outfit.

Express Clutch, Express sequined camisole and Michael Antonio black and gold shoes from DSW

Arm Candy!!!! Featuring Stella and Dot wrap around serpent bracelet and gold-plated accessories by Jetsetter Happy Hour Jewelry

I ended up attending the NY g(EE) thoughtfully named after my good friend and local Dallas musician Larry g(EE).  I couldn't wait to rock it out with him and my much that I went ahead and packed his CD in my clutch so that I could jam all the songs while I was en route to the venue.

Once I arrived, it was all over.  I was in full party mode and ready to bring in the new year with all of my friends.  I was double sure to wear an outfit that I could dance the night away in and also peel layers just in case I started to get hot and sweat. While at the party, I just kept thinking over and over just how blessed I have been.  God NEVER ceases to amaze me.  I have an incredible group of friends and supporters here in Dallas and one thing that 2013 taught me was that when one door closes, don't sweat it.  God has an even BIGGER and BETTER door that he is preparing me for. I have a list literally a mile long of doors that were shut in my face in 2013 and how God delivered me to even better and greener pastures--beyond my imagination.  And when you're surrounded by great family and friends...what's there to be sour or disappointed about?

Chelsea Bond (Red-i by Chelsea Jewelry), Me and the best Publicist in town, Amber LaFrance (Culture-Hype)

Am I really that tall...or is Chelsea just teeny-weeny?  Good Lord woman!

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade...and then dance the night away!

2013 was everything that I could have hoped for.  I've learned so many lessons from God and about myself through failed opportunities and experiences that I am anxious about moving forward into 2014 and never looking back.  I can't wait until this time next year where I can look back once again and see just how far He has brought me.

Life is for the living.  What are you waiting for?  Get out there and make your dreams come true! Happy New Year!