The Wild Detectives: One of My Top Favorite Places in Dallas

 

The Wild Detectives is probably the coolest coffee shop in Dallas. And anyone who knows me knows that I’ve evaluated about all of them.

Located in the Bishop Arts District, the Wild Detectives is not only a coffee shop, but also a bar, a music venue, and an excellent bookstore.

I wrote an article about this place for the Dallas Observer last year, interviewing my professor and friend Lauren Smart about the events they hold to empower women.Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

I went back this year to cover the Wild Detectives, this time for its 5th year anniversary for my video class. The owners and staff were wonderful and even gave me a Topo Chico. I mean, what’s not to love about this place?

My news package for SMU TV is linked below. It covers the trend of bookstore closings and how the Wild Detectives is doing a stellar job at keeping the interest of their customers.

 

Coffee Shop Awards of 2017

I did it! I compiled a list of my favorite coffee shops I discovered in 2017.

Here I have 14 places to get your cup of joe.

Please keep in mind that I am not a coffee expert. At all. A coffee shop expert? Possibly. But mainly I’m a coffee addict.

Ever thought about how coffee is kinda just weird bean soup? Think about it.

IMG_3912.JPG

SNUG ON THE SQUARE | Go-to Brunch Coffee 

Mckinney, Texas

  • Best Breakfast Award
    • Amazing breakfast choices for decent prices. My favorite is their oatmeal combo!
  • Best Location Award
    • Set at the heart of Mckinney Square, it’s the perfect place to meet up with people and walk around the cute antique shops right after!

Hustle Rating: ♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Snug on the Square is a two-parter. Next door to the coffee shop is the restaurant, though the two flow into each other easily. It gets pretty busy on the weekends, so try to go during a weird time. They do offer milk substitutes. On Sunday nights they host a worship service!

http://snugonthesquare.com/


IMG_3911.JPG

HOUNDSTOOTH COFFEE| Downtown Modern Coffee Shop

Dallas, Texas

  • Best Productive Workspace Downtown Award
    • Great place to get things done at the center of Dallas. (Though this picture doesn’t showcase much hustling, my grandma was really enjoying her donut.)

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥

The baristas here really know their stuff. It’s a great place to try different roasts with different tasting notes. It’s a camp-out-with-your-laptop-because-you’re-cool environment.

https://www.houndstoothcoffee.com


IMG_3910.JPG

FROGG COFFEE BAR & CREPERIE | The European Street Corner

Allen, Texas

  • Best Café for Sitting Outside
    • This Watters Creek shopping center in Allen, Texas has this big grassy area with beautiful trees and a little creek with cute little statues. It’s a super pretty area that never gets too loud and is perfect for a day with nice weather.
  • European Haven Award
    • Look how cute! It’s very europe-esque, and they have BOMB crépes
  • Best Place to Bring Kids and Dogs
    • Guess what? There’s an outdoor playground right outside the patio! Just the right distance for you to keep an eye out for the kiddos while you’re sipping an espresso.

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥

Great for both working and socializing. Sad for people (like me) who can’t eat crepes, but hey! Coffee is gluten free! (Also, they have omelets!)

http://www.froggcoffee.com


IMG_3901SUCRÉ CAFE | Absolute Asian Heaven

  • Most Visited by Isabel Award
    • During the schoolyear of 2016-2017 when I attended Collin College and took classes mostly at the Spring Creek Campus, I was at Sucré at least once a week. Most of the baristas still know me by name. At one point they even gave me discounts just because.
  • The First Open Mic Night I Ever Participated In
    • (Pictured below for proof.) If nothing has changed, they have open mic nights every last Tuesday night of the month! (But don’t take my word on that.)
  • Best Food!
    • Since opening, the place has expanded their food menu SO MUCH. Literally everything I’ve had there is amazing. They have rice bowls, different types of fries, chicken bites (of which I have probably consumed gallons by now), and many other AMAZING asian treats to keep you satisfied.
  • Isabel is Addicted Award
    • They have BOBA. Repeat. THEY HAVE BOBA. Not only is their coffee menu crazily extensive, but they offer slushes, smoothies, and THE best boba tea I have ever had. They make the pearls from scratch every day.

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

https://www.yelp.com/biz/sucre-cafe-plano

26287C80-0AA7-4C5C-AF11-6240A8DAC969.JPG


IMG_3900.jpg

FILTERED | The Hidden Musical Gem of Mckinney

  • My Best Friend’s Favorite Coffee Shop Award
    • My best friend loves it there, and the baristas all know her.
  • Cutest Artwork Award
    • I love the local art they post on the walls!
  • Most Musical
    • There are a bunch of instruments (and a piano) set out for people to jam on at their leisure. I’ve busted out a tune there myself and everyone there
    • is so supportive of random music-making!

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥

Great place to get work done (except the occasional possibly distracting jam sessions, though those are random and not usually too disruptive), but also offers board games. Located at Mckinney square, so again, great places to explore in the area.

https://getmefiltered.com

5C97A7AE-7CD8-4780-8521-5BFEAD21D80C.JPG


IMG_3473.JPG

SUMMER MOON | My Go-To Coffee Shop

Frisco, Texas

  • My Family’s Favorite
    • It’s our go-to, being only a few minutes from my parents’ house. And yeah, we have t-shirts.

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Amazing coffee. Sometimes crowded (which makes sense because it’s great), but it’s super cute and has a great atmosphere.

http://woodfiredcoffee.com/frisco
5E9CEA1D-65AF-45CD-B6D5-40AF16BD1E7A.JPG


salubrious-5-5.jpg

SALUBRIOUS JUICE+MORE | My First Coffee Shop Job

  • Healthiest Options Award
    • Organic and vegan! Not only is the coffee good, but they offer smoothies, cold-pressed juices and immune shots!

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

I applied for a job before it even opened, and was hired as the very first employee. When it started out, it was just me, the manager and the owner. The owner had me not only make drinks, but run the social media, paint artwork for the walls and make a full mural, as well as take photos for advertisements. It’s a great place for a quiet place to work, and the manager is super nice! I don’t work there anymore but I’ve stopped by to grab coffee a couple times.

http://www.salubriousjuiceandmore.com

salubrious-7-2.jpg

75DAA977-1DF9-4356-ACBB-1EF636426FD7.JPG

IMG_8272.JPG


0173F0CD-2E98-41FE-97A5-61E4A5438FFA.JPG

THE NEST | Super Cool Hidden Gem of Frisco

Frisco, Texas

  • Best Gluten-Free Food Around!
    • THE. BEST. Gluten free bread I’ve had!!! Amazing brunch. CRAZZZZYY GOOD sandwiches!
  • Quietest and Coolest Spot Award
    • I don’t mind spending hours there.

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

It’s a favorite for sure. Great for getting stuff done, or getting brunch with friends and family. Super friendly staff as well!

https://www.nestcafe.net

7206B2AB-A780-4325-805F-D7F3D2116EF3.JPGAADAB7F5-1716-47E9-A877-7E9159F17B2F.JPGF4A889CF-9F19-45B3-86A4-E601C54B2BF0.JPG

IMG_3243.JPG

 


6FF02709-70D4-42B3-95F1-87A211C05766.JPG

 

DAVIS STREET ESPRESSO | Take a Bus to Serious Coffee

Dallas, Texas

  • Most Serious Coffee Experience Award
    • No milk substitutes which makes me real sad. Buuuut they’re serious about their beans!

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥

https://www.nestcafe.net

5216C1A0-D7E8-4DFB-99CA-DB8915F71B93.JPG14CF14AC-A382-4BD3-821D-369DC533C9F5.JPG

07E8CDEB-27C4-4AF3-AE7C-A8C6974CB321.JPG


IMG_2209.JPG

XO COFFEE | Pretty Girl Boss Cave

Plano, Texas

  • Prettiest Place to Get Work Done
    • Super cute coffee shop! Great place to work!
  • Amazing Coffee Shop Tacos

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥

I was very pleased to find that they serve incredible tacos. But it’s a super cute spot in adorable downtown Plano. Bring a sweater, I feel like I’m always so cold there. But it’s nice and bright with cute decor!

http://xocoffeeco.com

03DC7D7C-ACC8-4972-98C1-462C20D87256.JPGBF55E870-DC88-4633-AF00-8EC0E5AC239D.JPGE0B85452-1EA8-42E0-9C66-182F095A797B.JPG

 


3E5C678D-682A-4168-98C8-DE14A406A849.JPGMUDSMITH | The Hipster Go-To

Dallas, Texas

  • The “They Have Kombucha!” Award
    • Yup. They have kombucha.

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥

It was a little dark for my liking when it came to studying, but I suppose if you were there for either meeting with friends or working on your laptop, it’s great! Super hipster. Great coffee, kombucha, and juice!

http://www.mudsmithcoffee.com

38435597-9712-4C95-A831-4CC46FB235BC.JPG


IMG_2093.JPGROYAL BLUE GROCERY | Coolest Spot for Coffee and Food in Dallas

Dallas, Texas

  • Nicest People Award 😉
    • 😉
  • Celebrity Spotting?
    • Located at Highland Park, it is frequented by many different people. The likes of Anne Hathaway, Owen Wilson, and Matthew Mcconaughey have been some.
  • Coolest Grocery Store That Exists Probably in the Whole World
    • Wanna get coffee, lunch, and wine, all while getting your grocery shopping done? It’s the perfect place!

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

https://www.royalbluegrocery.com

D556B11B-24B1-4D9D-9681-55F00AD589F2.JPG


463DBD08-304C-49A5-A44C-3B55B0414B77.JPGODDFELLOWS | Super Cool Restaurant I Treated Like a Coffee Shop

Dallas, Texas

  • Photogenic Food Spot Award

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥

Only been there once, but I stayed pretty much all day. Got a bunch of stuff done, had good coffee, and met with a good friend!

http://www.oddfellowsdallas.com

IMG_1984.JPG1B4271D1-D707-4B0E-B1A9-0C86EB61C136.JPG


F4868110-FDC1-4648-92A1-A9D92DB7459A.JPGBIRD BAKERY | Cupcakes That Make Me Love Life

  • Gluten-free Desserts That I Sometimes Dream About
    • The CUPCAKES
  • Prettiest Bakery in Dallas
    • Pink neon signs? I think yes.

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Amazing pastries, super good coffee and kombucha, and great food! Located right by Royal Blue so spending the day in the area is a really good idea.

http://www.birdbakery.com

43D7DA6F-B7FD-4F1A-BBB5-FC8BA4974FC4.jpg7D8BD190-88BC-4816-9FD3-EA0730EBECBB.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hillside Farmacy

IMG_7691

My family and I recently made an overnight trip to Austin. While we were there, we visited the cutest little restaurant called Hillside Farmacy. Obviously, it’s a play on “pharmacy”, and that is because the building used to be a drugstore. But the place still sells specialty food items like sauces on the original 1950’s shelving. The place is easy to miss, but totally photographable. Plus, the food’s great!

IMG_3613IMG_3608IMG_3611IMG_3634IMG_7687IMG_3643

The Hillside Farmacy Website

My Vienna, Austria Travel Diary

 

Here it is! The third installment of my Europe Travel Diary 2015! (I know, it took me that long to upload this haha!)

This footage was taken when my family and I visited my aunt and uncle in Vienna, Austria in November. My mom helped me film this, so you’ll see me a lot more in the footage. Hope you enjoy!

Filmed with the iPhone 5c and iPhone 6.

The links to the other two Europe travel diaries are at the end of the video.

London Travel Diary 2015

I’ve always wanted to go to England. I’m kind of obsessed with all things British. So I was so excited to finally get to visit in November! My family and I spent 4 days in London, (including a trip to the Harry Potter studios!!!) and it was everything I hoped it would be. Here’s a little snippet of my time there. Videos on our trip to Paris and Vienna are coming soon!

Adventures in Alaska- Part 2

Alaska, adventure, trip, travelThe day we got to the camp, the Hope Youth Corps leader told us that we had 5 days until we had to actually run a church camp. There were 30 kids from 2nd to 10th grade coming to stay with us for 3 days, and we were totally in charge. (Obviously, there was adult supervision, don’t worry, but we called the shots.) 22 teenagers were supposed to be the counselors, lead lessons and activities, feed the kids, and we had to plan all of this on our own while doing the 8-hour-a-day blue-collar labor. This was our big second task. Kids.

We thought it was impossible. At least, I did. I was shocked that they were giving all these responsibilities to us. We had just gotten to know each other, now we were expected to run a camp? We were just teenagers!

But we had no choice. We had to pull off this camp for the kids. We each thought of our experiences with church camp and wanted to give someone else that great experience. I was so surprised at what we were capable of. I think the world has such low expectations of teenagers sometimes, and things like this reminded me of how much of an impact we can make with God and each other.

IMG_0292

IMG_0296

We had a blast those three days. It was great. It felt like one big play date. We got to know each kid and spend time with them, play with them, teach them, talk to them. It felt like a big family at the end of it.

IMG_0813

IMG_0817

Yes, there were smores. What else would we do in the woods in Alaska?

IMG_0097

On one of the weekends when we drove down to Anchorage, we got to climb Flat Top. Being from mountain-less Texas, I had never climbed a mountain before. (The picture above was taken probably when we were a third of the way up. ) I’m not going to lie, it was super hard. But I’m glad I did it. I’ll spare you a cheesy mountain analogy.

IMG_0130

What’s a mountain adventure without a motivational speech? This is my friend, Nathan, giving the best mountain speech I’ve ever heard. Yes, he was very intense.

IMG_0154

Here’s my friend Lizzy doing one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.

IMG_0159

And here’s Peter wearing my backpack. Real men carry Vera Bradley.

Here’s a few of my favorite random pictures from my amazing trip. (Click to view full image)

Thanks for being great, Alaska. ‘Till next time.

Adventures in Alaska- Part 1

IMG_9500 copy

Recently, I participated in a mission trip with my church called “Hope Youth Corps”, specifically the Alaska chapter. I flew to the largest state in the US with two of my close friends.

We were trying to take a selfie on the plane, and someone decided to join. I don’t know him. We called him Jorge. Guess he couldn’t stay away from the camera. Anyway…

One thing is for sure, Alaska didn’t disappoint when it came to scenery. Pictures will never do it justice. That didn’t stop me from snapping away, though.

Alaska, scenery, mountains, mountain, landscape, tourist

Alaska, scenery, tourist, mountain, marsh Alaska, scenery, tourist, marsh, mountain, mountains

mountain, mountains, alaska, photography

IMG_9339

I had no idea what Alaska had in store. I didn’t know it was going to be two of the best weeks ever.IMG_9628 IMG_9786These are some of the 22 volunteers (aged 15-21) that became my family for two weeks. We lived together in cabins two hours away from Anchorage and all civilization pretty much.

No showers, no electricity, no running water, no heaters or air conditioning. We only saw bathrooms on the weekends when we drove down to Anchorage. You know it’s true friendship when they still love you after you haven’t taken a shower in a week. Camping, Alaska, Talkeetna, Youth Corps

Two Weeks in Alaska

Two Weeks in Alaska

We worked hard. The first week, we served with manual labor, building and improving a camp for kids. Blood, sweat and tears was an accurate way to describe my experience. But it felt good. I didn’t realize what I was capable of until I was pushed to my limits, lifting wood and shoveling rocks from 9 to 6. I ached all over but loved it. volunteer, alaska IMG_0252

It felt good to do something had for a good cause. We built beds and tables, dug 7-foot-deep outhouse holes, maintained gardens and cleared trails in the woods, built a shed, moved rocks and gravel, and more. And that was only the first week.

IMG_0180IMG_9341IMG_9345IMG_0169

The camp we worked on became very dear to my heart. It was a privilege to contribute to it during that first week.

Posting about the second week soon! Stay tuned, thanks for reading!!!!

I wasn’t the only blogger on the trip. Check out my good friends Hannah and Lorena’s blogs! They put up some killer stuff!

Lorena (blogger) : Le Unexpected Traveler

Hannah (vlogger): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUVEShNYzk6aS-aJMQ3QPRQ