The Mercantile

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It took us about 6 or 7 U-turns, but we finally found our way to the The Mercantile on Camp Bowie in Fort Worth.

As stated on their site, they carry “Home Décor, Antiques, Fashion, Gifts, Collectibles and so much more!” In other words, a typical antique mall. They also have a pretty large tea room, but unfortunately that was closed when we got there (around 3:30).

The exterior is painted with some pretty impressive historical Texas related murals. The interior was clean and had sufficiently wide aisles (necessary with a stroller), but they really need to turn up the AC! They had some snack trays out with cheese and grapes and the cheese cubes were sweating like tiny yellow pigs.

One unusual thing was they have a vendor that sells geodes and fossils! He even had several amber pieces with bugs trapped inside- Jurassic Park?! Anyone? Anyone?

I noticed that their site also states,
“The Mercantile has a friendly staff to make you feel right at home while you are here.” While the vendors and another lady on staff that I spoke to were friendly and professional, the lady that rang me up on the register was just plain rude. When she mentioned an upcoming sale and (after being treated rudely) I responded that I wouldn’t be coming back she must have realized what she had done because she became very polite. ::side eye::
(。=`ω´=)ぇ?

But, I guess that’s not really fair to say they don’t have good customer service because of one crab apple.

So anyway…I walked away with a gift for my friend’s daughter and a cool bracelet for myself.

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Baby Bug was so good the whole time so I wanted to get him something special. Thankfully we happened to pass by Toy Works!…also on Camp Bowie. Nice place! A good selection of toys that I’ve never seen at Target.

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The Bug went crazy! He walked all around the store testing out all the toys he could get his baby paws on. One toy in particular seemed to hold his attention the longest- a car dashboard with tons of buttons and levers that makes all kind of car sounds. It even has wiper blades that move!

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Hopefully it’ll keep him entertained for a week or so. ヽ(・∀・)ノ

Austin Trip

A couple of weeks ago we finally got it together and made a road trip down to my beloved Austin, Texas. I lived there for three years, when I was going to UT and I’ve only been back a couple of times since graduating in 2008.

We stayed at the very stylish and conveniently located Hotel San Jose on South Congress.

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When I used to live in Austin and go shopping on Soco I would often walk past this hotel and think that someday I wanted to stay there. I love the shady and secret garden like atmosphere in the middle of such a happen’n area.

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Baby bug attacking the bed in our room

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A cool lime tree in the courtyard

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Breakfast was served in a sort of Western style bento box, but the size of a dresser drawer! It was good food, and good portions, but, as with most hotel food, was overpriced so I think next time I’ll just get a bunch of breakfast tacos from Jo’s next door. Hopefully there will be a next time.

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Baby Bug had a wonderful time at the Austin Children’s Museum. If we have another chance to stay in Austin sometime in the next 5 years we will definitely go back there and I would highly recommend it to anyone with little kids that are visiting the area.

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The husband had a taco from one of the Soco food carts.

We walked up and down the street around our hotel and stopped in a couple of the places I used to shop at such as By George and Parts and Labour. Although, I didn’t buy anything till we went downtown at some boutique, that I think was on 2nd or 3rd street downtown. Which reminds me…

I noticed that most of the girls around town were wearing either flowing summer dresses,short shorts, or some other very “body con” ensemble.

Even though we were just a few hours South it felt hotter and more humid than DFW. In part, most likely, because we spent more time waking around outdoors than we do at home.

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Pretty lace on the dress I bought from some random boutique downtown.

20130721-154015.jpg Inside the hotel courtyard

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I got to eat at Magnolia cafe (once at each location!) and the husband got to have a hamburger at Hopdoddy’s and we both really liked Jo’s breakfast tacos! (There are so many places to eat breakfast tacos in Austin). We also tried to eat at South Congress Cafe, but it was packed to the brim and we were all too hot and fussy to stand waiting in there and ended up at Gueros (sp?) down the street.

There were so many places I wanted to visit, like UT campus, but we didn’t have time for or it was too hot to do, but it was good to go back and visit. I even got to see an old friend that will be moving back to Japan very soon and if I hadn’t gotten to see her before she left I would have been disappointed.

We also managed to squeeze in a stop at Momoko’s near UT campus.

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20130721-155106.jpg cute mugs

I used to get my bobba teas and cute Japanese sticker fix here.

Our last day in ATX we visited the peacock sanctuary.

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Beautiful birds and flowers. I love water lilies, especially these vibrant pink ones.

So that was the end of our trip to Austin, ::sigh:: I hope to go back sometime soon.

Baby Bug’s Birthday Part 1

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It was Baby Bug’s birthday yesterday! We were able to have the party on his actual birth day and Daddy was there, despite working all night the night before!

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We had stickers and hats set out for the kids to decorate their hats if they wanted.

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Some of the snacks

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The hot air balloon cupcakes from Sugar Bee’s in Arlington! I got a mixture of chocolate with chocolate filling and strawberry with chocolate filling. Delicious!

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A quick shot of the backyard through the screen door. Can you see the hot air balloons on the left?

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Me and one of my besties.

Most of these were taken as I hurriedly set up, before our guests arrived. My husband took a lot more pictures during the party so I’ll be uploading them next. I haven’t even seen them yet, so I’m really excited!

The Shops at Brown Stone Village

On a reconnaissance mission to Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery to check out cupcakes for Baby Bug’s Birthday I realized that they were located in my long lost The Shops at Brown Stone Village in Arlington.

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It’s been years since I came here and I had forgotten its location. I remembered thinking it was a nice place and I’m glad I rediscovered it.

Anyway, Sugar Bee’s , is a boutique and bakery located in central Arlington. I had googled for a good cupcake place in the area and they had a solid rating so we went and checked it out.

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The interior was modern and stylish and the cupcake sample Baby Bug and I shared was very moist, but a little too sweet for my taste. The owner was was very warm and helpful and I ended up ordering the cupcakes for his party there after all. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they realize the design we decided on. Of course, I will post pictures of them when the time comes.

Afterwards we went on to the shops across the way.

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It was pretty much how I remembered it. Some cute stuff, some mundane. Still worth a look if you happen to be in the area.

Rip Van Mommy

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This Season’s Must Have: Rip Van Winkle Coloring Book

I woke up, after a short morning nap with Baby Bug, once again feeling awfully tired, and after being pummeled and scratched and my hair pulled by Baby Bug I was already very low on patience. So I was happy to accept my husband ‘s offer to watch him while I got some more sleep.

I slept from 10:20 ish till about 12:45!! I was actually worried when I got up because I literally have not slept this much since I was pregnant and I thought maybe my husband had passed out and Baby Bug was digging through the litter box and brandishing pointy objects. However, when I came out my husband was cooking and the Bug was playing and all was well.

I really appreciate the extra sleep- I must have really needed it- but waking up so late I feel a bit out of whack.

I just now checked the weather and it is 39℉ 😵, no wonder I was in hibernation mode❗

💃💃💃

……So we actually made it out, at which time it had climbed up a few degrees and into the low 40’s. While at the store I picked up the latest issue of “Romantic Homes”. There was a page with some blogs listed, including this self-help blog wrapped up in a girly package.

20130410-221530.jpgThe blogger, Christine

I particularly liked these two things that she said:

1. It is never too late to follow a dream. Never think you are too old to have a dream and go for it. You will manifest something wonderful in anything you put mindful attention, action, and baby steps to.

2. It is never too late to embrace your health. Our bodies are amazing in how they adapt. Eating right and exercise and passion are the pillars of radiant health as we age.

Some of her advice is good, other stuff…well, I’m not so sure. Just seemed a little new-agey to me, but *positive* and classy. I respect that.

And for those Japanophiles out there check out kawaii kakko ii sugo’s website.