If you’re on any form of social media (or if, like me, your shoes keep breaking this week!) you know that we’re currently experiencing Mercury in Retrograde. You can learn all about it here, but the highlights are that is an inauspicious time to start anything new, travel, make big purchases or have important meetings because this planetary phase favors hindsight, treading cautiously and inward reflection. People often attribute failures in communication, technology malfunction and general disruption to Mercury in Retrograde, which happens three to four times a year and lasts a few weeks. You don’t have to hide in your apartment, trying desperately not to drop your phone or offend your boss, the best thing to do (as always) is to have a party!

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!

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-

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.