My Favorite Activities for Summer in Texas

My Favorite Activities for Summer in Texas

First off, shout out to Tobi for hooking me up with this stunner of an off-the-shoulder bell-sleeved dress! It’s soooo gorgeous – the smocked detail makes it perfect for day while the silhouette makes it ideal for night too!

Plus: who doesn’t love a white mini dress in the summer?

Especially because a dress like this doesn’t hold in heat – which is absolutely necessary in the hot Texas summer. And it covers most of my arms from being sunburned. Necessary for this super pale human.

After nearly 25 years of living in Texas, I’ve figured out a few tricks to staying cool… while staying entertained. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite activities for summer in Texas.

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My Favorite Restaurants for Brunch in Dallas + a Giveaway!

My Favorite Spots for Brunch in Dallas

Brunch is my favorite meal of the week. By far. And, since Dallas has so many great options, I make an effort to get to at least one new brunch spot every two weeks.

But, there are always the ones I go back to time and time again. My favorite spots for brunch in Dallas. A handful of places at which you can almost always find me (and for hours on end). Keep reading for my full list… and what to get at each place!

PS: wanna just skip ahead to enter my amazing giveaway? Click here!

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The Dallas Zoo

Yesterday, I had the [totally awesome] opportunity to check out the Dallas Zoo for the very first time (*cough cough* even though I moved here nearly three years ago). My friend and I received a private tour of the zoo and got the inside scoop on all of the adorable animals… including the baby chimpanzee which was seriously the cutest. ever.

Unfortunately, our tour had to be cut short due to the dreadful weather… but I will definitely be coming back to see more of the zoo soon (and to feed a giraffe!!).

Dallas Zoo penguins

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Ascension Coffee… and a Preppy Leopard Look!

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What I’m Wearing:

Cape: Leslie Tessler / Sweater: J.Crew, sold out (similar) / Shirt: Brooks Brothers / Jeans: J.Crew
Shoes: Tory Burch (on sale!) / Purse: Louis Vuitton / Earrings: Kate Spade, color sold out / Ring: BaubleBar

I discovered Ascension Coffee shortly after I moved to Dallas (almost three years ago – where has the time gone!?!), and ever since that initial introduction, I’ve been completely obsessed.

Whenever I dedicate an entire day to get work done on the blog, you bet your chops that I’m making an appearance at Ascension Coffee at some point that day. From lunches with the work wives where we dine on Chicken Manchego Paninis to lazy post-workout brunches with the besties where we munch on the famed Avocado Toast (seriously, don’t miss this dish!), Ascension Coffee has time and time again proved that it is worthy of being seen as more than just a coffee shop.

Partially because they also have an excellent wine selection. And, as we all know, an excellent wine selection is one of the fastest ways to my heart. Along with baked goods, mac and cheese, and pizza. I know, such a well-rounded diet.

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Recently, my darling friend Rebecca and I went to Ascension Coffee for a little late-afternoon pick-me-up / teatime. And it was lovely.

We had tea (I had the Chamomile and Fruit while Rebecca had the Green Tea Garden) while we nibbled on the House Smoked Salmon Appetizer and the Hummus Plate. And I just about threw a toddler-esque tantrum when I realized I couldn’t have all of the baked goods available at the front counter. Sad times, y’all. You bet your bum that I’ll be sampling every last one of them on my next trip to this Design District hotspot!

I’m skipping down to Austin this evening to see the Austin Opera‘s production of Of Mice and Men tomorrow night. I’m so stoked for puppy kisses, family time, and around seven hours of annoying one of my best guy friends in the car (while singing Disney songs at the very top of my lungs!). For more on that last one, make sure you’re following me on Snapchat (@akkushner).

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Photography by Beckley & Co.

Mercat Bistro

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Mercat Bistro is probably one of my top-three favorite restaurants in Dallas. A gorgeous French bistro tucked into the heart of the Harwood District, Mercat Bistro brings the best of Parisian chic yumminess right to my footsteps. Love that.

A few weeks ago, my friend Rebecca of Beckley & Co. and I went to Mercat Bistro for a very French brunch. A very, very, very French brunch. As it was more-than-slightly crisp outside, I bundled up in this outfit I posted two weeks ago (Top: J.Crew / Sweater: J.Crew / Scarf: ASOS / Earrings: Visible Interest, c/o / Ring: LC Lauren Conrad) and downed all of the tea on which I could get my hands.

Their tea is damn good, so let’s just say that I got my tea fix all sorted.

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As our starter, Rebecca and I ordered the pastry basket. Ughhhhhhh, YUM. Oh my goodness, yum. Good god, yum.

Every item in the pastry basket was made to absolute perfection. A croissant, pain au chocolat, a muffin, and even a mini-loaf of delicious pumpkin bread. In my usual fashion, I obviously had to try a little bit of everything. So I took exactly one bite of every single thing.

Okay maybe more than “exactly one bite”.

Sorry, Rebecca.

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For our mains, Rebecca had the Croque Madame and I had the Spinach & Mushroom Quiche. Both were absolutely delicious. Well, I assume so because Rebecca downed that Croque Madame faster than an American can even pronounce “Croque Madame”. Oh, and I could legitimately eat that quiche every single day for the rest of my life.

Well… I could, but I’m pretty sure that – given Dallas’s penchant for driving instead of walking – I’d get super fat in a hurry. Like almost instantaneously. Dammit.

Despite my fear of becoming double my current size, I’ll definitely be going back to Mercat Bistro… and soon! Perhaps next time I’ll duck in for some French Onion Soup and a delicious glass of their French 76 – tis the season, after all!

Photography by Beckley & Co.