thailand, krabi, railay beach resorts at any budget www.trialbyinspiration.com

ko phi phi krabi thailand resort hotel www.trialbyinspiration.com

So much planning went into our trip (over a year ago now!) to Railay Beach in the Krabi region of Thailand. Our three city trip clocked in at ten days, so it was a necessity to balance global luxury and quirky must-haves (i.e., budget friendly and Instagram enviable). Luckily, with its constant flow of wander lusting backpackers, Thailand, and Krabi in particular, have accommodations at all price points.  We spent three nights in a mosquito net draped, textile rich, beachside treehouse and the next two in a meandering luxury resort. Read on for all the details.

Our Hometown Hero Cocktail/mocktail recipe www.trialbyinspiration.com

It’s Friday, and down here in Dallas it’s a hot one! According to iPhone, we’re topping out at 102, but with my car claiming 105 and my plants jumping ship, I knew we needed to end the week with a sweating glass of a summertime classic. Last week I escaped to the air-conditioned inspiration of the rock store, today I’m beating the heat with frosty cocktails! This spiced cherry cola cocktail, our “Hometown Hero,” is an homage to our original hometown hero, Dr. Pepper. Though Dr. Pepper was created in Waco, Tx (and you can read all about it here), it moved to Dallas in the 1920’s and is headquartered here today. In the 1940’s my grandmother lead tours at HQ, always ending with a frosted glass of this unique soda.

Though Dr. Pepper did inspire this icy, rum-optional treat, I did not crack their top-secret formula, and super fans should not be disappointed when their first sip is not 100% duplication. Wacoites, to preserve the peace, you may also consider this your hometown hero, so crack open the rum and let’s start cooking!

Embroidered Collage by Nadia Nizamudin Instagram Crush www.trialbyinspiration.com

I just love a crazy full, infinite Instagram feed, so I follow a lot of accounts, but there are a few stand-out Instagram accounts that I check in on a few times a week to make sure I haven’t missed a single post. @nadianizamudin is one of those accounts, I stumbled upon her work one evening and then had to browse her entire back history. I love her use of color, embroidered embellishment, and playful collage. In this new monthly feature, “Instagram Crush,” I had the privilege of asking this inspiring artist and Instagram creative about her work, process, and thoughts on marketing, balancing a day job with her creative passion and her advice on how to find the Muse when you’re stuck. She was so generous and thoughtful with her answers, I hope you’re as motivated by her devotion to keeping up with her artistic process even as she commutes between three cities, travels for a high-pressure job and spends time with her family! Read on for the interview and more images from her breathtaking Instagram account!

DIY Statement Necklaces beads, coral, clay, porcelain and serpentine www.trialbyinspiration.com

When I ventured out to The Rock Barrell last weekend, I was stoked to see some gorgeous mineral specimens and escape the heat (hello 100 degree days Dallas!). What I didn’t expect was to find was bold, eclectic jewelry components that make this local Dallas shop a cut above the average bead store. What I found most inspiring about The Rock Barrell’s selection was that it had an undiscovered, self-unaware, quirky vibe; I find that now that the craft stores are fully immersed in the Pinterest culture, unexpected DIY ingredients are hard to find! Read on to see what I selected to make my oversized, “a lot of look,” DIY statement necklaces!

amethyst crystals at the rock store www.trialbyinspiration.com

I grew up visiting rock stores with my dad; we would walk the aisles, hands clasped behind our backs, peering into each box of polished stones. I don’t remember any of the rocks we brought home, the pleasure was in the collection itself and seeing all of those saturated colors and varied textures en masse. That said, I’d never been to our local shop, Richardson’s the Rock Barrell, so Saturday I made the trek. Read on for inspiration to visit your local rock shop-

Monday Mermaid Mood Board, Sun, Sand & Sequins www.trialbyinspiration.com

I experienced the perfect storm of FOMO this weekend after viewing and liking all my friend’s surf spray Instas and then stumbling across this cerulean dream of a vintage postcard at Lula B’s West. Whyyy didn’t we plan a beach vacation this summer?? The sad answer is, we’re saving it for the new year when we can hop down to Belize for our first long, no kids allowed vacay. So mood board I must, and, after pilfering my collections for inspiration, I found the perfect theme, Sun, Sand, and Sequins!

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Put the Lime in the Coconut Cocktail and Mocktail Tiki drink Recipe

Hello, Friday, where ya been? After this week, we need a drink straight out of the coconut, and cocktail or mocktail, I’ve got you covered. After all my talk about piña coladas and cabana boys, I knew this weekend needed welcoming with a tiki drink. My trip to the Asian Grocery last weekend yielded two coconuts and a can of mango juice, and since it’s Friday, I’ll put it to good use (with rum). Put the lime in the coconut and jump to the cocktail recipe!

Hosting, Party, Homewares, Dishes, Table Setting, Ceramics

A month ago seeking out Dragon Fruit for a styling project I was working on brought me to two amazing Asian groceries in Dallas, H Mart and Hiep Thai. H Mart is so expansive it’s overwhelming to go without a set list, Hiep Thai is smaller and has a more neighborhood store vibe, but both, I discovered, have a fabulous selection of housewares. It’s a bit of a treasure hunt (if you follow the Instagram then you remember this), but what’s more fun than poking around stacks of painted bowls or discovering circular slab cutting boards for a mere $15 (!)? I decided to build myself an eclectic collection for serving casual tapas for four, all for under $50! Want to see what I found?

Tonight, in honor of what would have been Frida Kahlo’s 110th birthday, the Dallas Museum of Art  set the World Record for most “Fridas” in one location. With evening temperatures in the 90’s and humidity at a truly gross level, all we could do was dab gently at our unibrows while taking in the fabulous and varied interpretations of this Mexican Master Painter.

Mood Board inspired by Chihuly's collection of trade blankets www.trialbyinspiration.com

A quickie collection inspired by Chihuly’s personal (epic!) collection of American trade blankets that kicks off his fantastic, long-term exhibition in Seattle. If you have a chance to visit the show or one of the traveling exhibits, please treat yourself to a ticket. The glass sculptures are arranged by theme and period, in two-story, blackest black rooms, and the impact is epic. Of course, the color, scale, and technological logistics of his works are what Chihuly is known for, but what stuck with me was the narrative it painted by pairing the artist’s collections of pottery and trade blankets with his iconic glass works to convey both process and realization.

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