Show Me Your Dallas, Sandra Evans
As if sensing my need for a leisurely morning with a good friend, Sandra Evans stepped up the plate this Friday with my pitch perfect morning. For those of you just tuning in, I've been exploring Dallas through the eyes of locals. These are girls I've met over the years through blogging, twitter and facebook. In most cases, however, this is our first opportunity to meet in person. Since we relocated I've been building up my army of girlfriends one outing at a time. While the elevator pitch is to see the city and the sights, the real goal is and has always been to have a little fun shopping as only two girls can. For me it's the best way to bond and - if I'm really being honest - my favorite way to spend a day.
What began as an adventure quickly turned into a crazed schedule. I was even interviewed Wednesday by the Dallas Morning News for the endeavor. Seems I'm tapping into a common curiosity among those new to the area as well as those born and bred in the area. In just a few short weeks my days went from laid back to fully packed.
Sandra must have been reading my mind, as her only agenda for us on Friday was to stroll through my favorite shopping center, Highland Park Village. For those not in the know, this is a historic shopping center is a national landmark. Highland Park is Dallas's answer to Beverly Hills. Both were designed by architect Wilbur David Cook. The unique Mediterranean Spanish-style shopping center is a blissful mix of high-end & mid-range shopping with a laid-back vibe that only an outdoor shopping center can deliver. Sandwiched between Chanel and Hermès is a Tom Thumb grocery store and an independent movie theater. For all of the luxury (and there is plenty) the canopy of trees overhead and slow bustle of happy people milling about always has a calming effect on me.
We kicked it off at Starbucks where we spent no time jumping right into conversation about ... well, everything. Sandra is every bit as talented and stylish in person as you'd expect. Not only does she teach graphic design, she also co-owns Small Envelope with Cesar Aragón. They specialize in absolutely gorgeous invitations. She even brought along a sampling of the goods to show me. Incredible work, from a fiercely talented designer.
The more you chat with Sandra the more you realize what a rockstar you have in your midst. Between keeping professional photographer husband Mark happy and teaching her students the tools of the trade she is a panelist at Big Thought, a nonbprofit focused on giving children the opportunities they need in life. Like most of my friends, she's in constant motion, but somehow manages to carve out time for her girls - gotta love that.
But wait... on to the shopping! We didn't make it far on Friday. We spent way too long at Anthropologie noting a dress I'd seen on Tori Spelling this past week and ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the adorable gifts and books for kids. After plundering the sale racks like pros (and coming up empty handed, natch) we headed back out into the plaza for some quick shoe shopping. A quick dash into Tory Burch and a swing past Harry Winston and Hermès we'd already run out of time.
Sandra, next time we're hitting the other side of the plaza and scheduling time for lunch as well. See you soon, doll, and thank you for showing me your Dallas!