Bentley’s Now in Business

After several months of waiting, Bentley’s, a craft cocktail and crepe shop, is now open on Magnolia. This quaint, family-owned establishment is the perfect addition to Magnolia Avenue and a much-needed crepe restaurant in Fort Worth.

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I’m always a fan of breakfast places, and you can enjoy Bentley’s breakfast items 7:30-10 a.m. We stopped in for lunch today, and while I’m a sucker for crepes, it was too hard to resist their menu offerings of the craft dogs. Scott tried the Bentley while I ordered the Pestoroni, and it was hard to pick a favorite as both were delicious and unique in their own way. We also tried their buffalo fries, a light and a tasty addition to the meal.

We were greeted by smiling faces and the service was on point. One of the managers walked us through the restaurant and mentioned their future expansion plans. While there’s currently limited dining space with stand-up counters, it seems that the small walk-in shop is just the beginning. They plan to open their covered patio soon and add more dining space on the second floor of the building they own next door. He also mentioned they plan to expand their hours and menu in the future.

I have to admit when I heard the combination of crepes and hot dogs, I wasn’t so sure. Bentley’s definitely did it right though. With the shop now open, I know my sweet and savory teeth will be pleased with their options.

Details: 1515 West Magnolia Avenue | Bentley’s Facebook Page

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Magnolia Micro Park Adds Neighborhood Family Flair

The Near Southside has been seriously buzzing since we moved here three years ago. With highly-anticipated restaurant openings like Heim BBQ and a variety of neighborhood happenings like Friday on the Green, there’s never a dull moment in this reviving neighborhood.

Even more than the fantastic openings from 44 Bootlegger and Bentley’s, what I’ve most enjoyed lately, are the creative spaces that line Magnolia and give it that funky, hometown vibe. I’m obsessed with this new mural outside of Brewed. It’s such a clever piece of word art and such a sweet offering to the city.
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One of the latest little hot spots is the new Magnolia Micro Park, the first of its kind in Fort Worth. This experimental public space created by Leadership Fort Worth & the Near Southside Inc. offers the perfect kid-friendly, outdoor environment with hands-on interactive displays like the xylophones and creative crate formations. On Saturdays, you’ll find artists painting, kid-friendly activities and some cool arts and crafts for sale.

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This could have easily been a wasted space. Fortunately, the Near Southside and Leadership Fort Worth realize the importance of public space and its impact on sense of community. Next time you’re taking a stroll in the neighborhood, be sure to check it out. Louie sure enjoyed it.

Details:1201 W. Magnolia Avenue | NearSouthsideFW.orgIMG_2998

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Cannon Chinese Kitchen

When I first found out about Cannon Chinese Kitchen, the sister restaurant of Shinjuku Station and Tokyo Cafe, I was pretty excited. Tokyo Cafe brings back great memories as that’s where Scott and I had our first date, and Shinjuku Station is one of our favorites for celebrations, good sushi, and the freshest ingredients. Oh, and the Tok […]

Frog Fever

It’s finally here. Football season is the best season, and I love living near my alma mater, TCU. What I love even more is seeing new street art supporting the frogs in the hood. Check it out across from Kent & Co. off of Henderson and Magnolia. Go frogs!  

 

Treat Yo Self at Melt Ice Creams

One of my absolute favorite places, Melt Ice Creams is where you can find THE best craft ice cream – not just in Fort Worth – but I would have to say, the world. Melt is where happiness is made and served up to smiling faces like me, over and over again. Their flavors change every few weeks, so there’s always something new to try, plus your tasting the freshest ingredients. What I love most about Melt though is the sense of community that is shared here. Located on Rosedale Ave, Melt has transformed this corner and street into a really vibrant place. If you haven’t been, you have no excuse as I will be happy to accompany you anytime. It’s a great spot for the community to gather and enjoy ice cream.
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I remember talking to my sweet friend, neighbor and creator of Melt, Kari Crowe a couples years ago about her idea to open an ice cream shop, and I thought it was pure brilliance. How was there not a craft ice cream (the best dessert of all time) shop in Fort Worth, let alone the Near Southside? It was really amazing to see Kari turn her dream into a reality by making the most wonderful ice cream in the most welcoming space. Like many great places in this area, what makes them enjoyable and memorable experiences are the incredible people behind them. Kari’s built an incredible team, so anytime you stop by, you’re sure to be welcomed with a smiling face ready to scoop up some happiness. Not only is Melt flourishing in Fort Worth as a community hotspot and well-known favorite, but they are doing a pop-up in Dallas over the next few months, so our friends to the east can now get Melt Fridays-Sundays!

Follow Melt on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with their current flavors. Each phenomenally crafted menu offers something sweet, something light, something vegan and all delicious. You’ll find yourself tasting new flavors and combos you’ve never imagined, and pleasantly surprised. Last night, I tried the vegan coconut curry and it was delicious. I also really loved the Nectar of the gods (think nectarine creamsicle) flavor. Do you have a favorite Melt flavor? I’m always a fan when Avoca Coffee is involved and pretty much everything Kari does.

Details: Melt Ice Creams, 954 W. Rosedale Ave. www.meltfw.com | You can visit Melt Tuesday-Sunday. Plan ahead for a case of the Mondays and purchase a pint (or two) to hold you over. Dallas: Melt is popping up in Oak Cliff for the next 3-6 months inside Urban Acres (1605 N. Beckley Ave. Dallas, Texas 75203) farmstead market Friday-Sunday: 11 am to 9 pm.

Melt Heart Opener

New Fixture in Fort Worth

One of the newest fixtures on Magnolia, Fixture is known for its eclectic, yet delicious menu and cool, local vibe. Next to Spice and Proper right off of Hemphill and Magnolia, Fixture Kitchen and Social Lounge has a prime location in the beautifully-renovated space previously occupied by 24 Plates. I checked it out recently for date night and then again for a Sunday brunch, and both experiences were absolutely solid on food, service and atmosphere. Delicious drinks (Try the lemoonade) and surprising menu items like beet fries and a decked-out PB&J, make this a must-try Fort Worth foodie destination.

Brunch is absolutely one of my favorite weekend activities, so I was happy to find that Fixture is doing it right. Whether you’re in the mood for something on the lighter side or want some down-home cooking, there’s a good mix of options on Fixture’s menu. A few Sundays back, the 3Tree teachers went out for brunch and I was thrilled when everyone was on the same page to try a few starters. All three of the samplings: Texas Beet Fries, Brie & Cranberry Nachos and the Cauliflower Hummus were delicious. I tried the Frittata for my entree (airy, flavorful, and fresh), but couldn’t stop eyeing the Chicken and Waffles or the Fried Bologna Brunch Sandwich. My recommendation for your next trip: go with some friends, try a mix of starters with drinks and even split a couple entrees to get a good range of flavors.

Details: Fixture on 401 W. Magnolia Ave. | Fixturefw.com

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3Tree Yoga

It is fitting that after almost a YEAR* hiatus from Off Magnolia, my first post back at it is about 3Tree Yoga. For me, there’s no better addition to the Southside than this place. While sometimes yoga — or more so, making time for your mat on a regular basis — can be a struggle (hence, a yoga practice), 3Tree beams out welcoming vibes. Located off of S. Jennings (right across from Rainbow Lounge), 3Tree offers a calming practice space with bamboo floors, natural light, plus a lovely patio to hang out on pre or post class. Trust me when I say, each time you make it to your mat here, it truly feels like coming home.

People want to know what makes this studio unique, and it is due to the incredible vision of the amazing owners, Austin and Tiffany Denny. Tiffany, a phD in physical therapy, is not only an anatomical genius, but her kindness, wit and love for yoga translates to fun, challenging and all-around inspiring classes. Best of all, she’s built this wonderful yoga community that is completely accessible for all levels. Austin is creative marketing genius who not only makes badass yoga videos, but is a dad, runs a successful yoga business, works full time and is getting his Master’s at TCU. More than anything though, they are the most authentic and compassionate people. It is these people, along with my fellow students and teachers, with whom I am so fortunate to share my yoga home.

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Living less than a mile from 3Tree, I always try to take advantage of riding my bike to the studio. It’s a truly awakening experience that gets me in the best mood for practicing and teaching yoga. One evening after class, I headed to the bike rack out front where I had parked less than two hours before. In a state of yoga bliss, it took me a moment to come to and realize that my little cruiser was nowhere in sight.

After being surrounded by such wonderful souls, I was filled with disbelief that someone would actually steal a bike. For a moment, I started questioning whether I even rode my bike or if I remembered to lock it up. Check and check.

Feeling stranded without my favorite mode of transportation, my yoga high quickly started to dissipate as anger and annoyance bottled up. After a few deep breaths and a comforting talk with Tiffany on the ride home, I started to have faith in humanity again. Much like any conversation with Tiffany, I always learn something new (apparently, bike theft is pretty common, esp. in our hood) and 2. see things from a new perspective (it was probably time to get a new bike anyways).

It didn’t take long though before I experienced some major bike withdrawals, so I started browsing for a new bike online that night. And then, I got an email from Austin. The subject line read your new bike! Inside, was a thread from a local bike enthusiasts facebook group Austin is in. What started as an incredibly kind request from him offering to trade in his bike for something to fit my size, turned into a collaboration of really good people. It was truly magical how they came together, donated parts and even helped put it together — leaving me with a gorgeous, vintage bike that will always serve as a special reminder of the power of kindness and compassion. I was and still am overwhelmed with joy, and want thank each of you, especially Dave Hickey. I hope to thank you in person soon!

This power of kindness and love is exactly what Austin and Tiffany have cultivated within the 3Tree Yoga community. I am so honored to call 3Tree my yoga home, surrounded by inspiring people that truly live out the practice of yoga.

Vintage Red Bike Japanese Frame

*Note: This is NOT due in part to nothing happening in the Near Southside. Because there are so many great places popping up (next up: Fixture, Flying Carpet) — I’ve honestly just been busy trying them all…and going back again and again.

Sunday of Summer: Brunch at Cane Rosso

They say August is like the Sunday of summer, and so it is appropriately fitting that I am diving back into my Off Magnolia blog on an August Sunday afternoon, in the heat of Texas summer. Maybe it’s the weather that keeps me indoors and thinking on my blog or perhaps the huge surge of restaurant and all kinds of openings on Magnolia, but I’m happy to be back writing again.

This particular Sunday, I’ve been reminded how truly wonderful this neighborhood is. I led the third class of my Popup Yoga: Sunday Service series in Fairmount Park, brunched at one of the new hot spots on Magnolia, and just minutes away taught paddle board yoga on Lake Worth. And, nothing celebrates Sunday better than a good brunch.

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Cane Rosso on Magnolia

There are so many delicious brunch places on Magnolia sometimes it can seem overwhelming, so I usually end up directly across the street at Spiral where I know I can count on their pancakes, tofu scramble and smoothies for a delicious meal, but I decided to head to Cane Rosso and try their brunch offerings.

It’s a perfect place to meet some friends where you can cheers with dollar mimosas. Since I first tried their delicious pizza, I’ve always been a huge fan of this place, and gotta say, am even more so after I tried their breakfast pizza. Anytime you put an egg on anything, it’s immediately elevated, so needless to say this pizza was blow-your-mind delicious. What makes it so tasty? The Italian imported ovens certainly do the trick as the pizzas are in their for a short amount of time, but come out yummy, gooey and filled with flavor. Other brunch items included fried doughnuts and an egg panini, which I will no doubt be back for. First, I need to finish off the leftovers from today, but that shouldn’t take long.

Details: Cane Rosso Fort Worth on 815 W. Magnolia Ave. | ilcanerosso.com

Teacher Training

The biggest takeaway from my 200-hour teacher training with Sumits Hot Yoga in Arizona, is that everything and everyone are connected through the life force of energy. We are all so unique and different, but in a way, we are all the same. In the past few weeks, we learned about the anatomical systems, explored the history and philosophy of yoga and what it means to be a true yogi. We experienced different practices like Yin, Nidra, Acro Yoga and Flow, and learned about the chakras, the nadis and the bundhas of the body. Above all of these things though, sharing this intimate experience with such an amazing group of people, has led me to become a better teacher, a better student and a better human being. I have learned so much from each individual in the training, but the ladies who I was fortunate to have spent every waking hour with during the weekday training, have contributed so much to my experience. They’ve inspired me, guided me and have shown different perspectives to help me better understand what things are like for others.

Leslie has taught me how to be a better listener, how to be open to change and how to follow your heart. She’s shown me that anything is possible when it comes to your dreams. Not only is she beautiful inside and out, but crazy talented. Watch one of her music videos, “If I Run“.

Katie has taught me how to be more kind, compassionate and understanding. She has showed me that even a simple touch, hug or minor yoga adjustment can make such a beautiful difference in one’s practice or day.

Judy has taught me how to stay grounded, live in the moment and be a true leader by example and strength. She’s inspired me to take things steps at a time, to learn from the past, and to appreciate each day as a gift. I can’t wait to take her Yin and Nidra classes someday!

Lindsey has taught me how to forget about the everyday crap we deal with, that things aren’t has hard as our mind makes them out to be and how to have fun even when things are challenging. She’s off to do great things, and I can’t wait to visit her in Denver!

Jelena has taught me how to live in confidence, be strong and smile even when you’re sweating your ass off. Her worldly perspective has also reminded me of my passion for travel and to pursue it as often as I can.

Annelle has taught me how to treat others with kindness without expecting something in return. Her honesty reminds me to be true to myself and to my strengths and that passion is worth pursuing–no matter what obstacles we may encounter.

Finally, Heather who I’ve gotten to know the best after living together this month, has taught me how to live in the here and now, and not just think or do, but feel from the heart. She’s taught me that being a mother is the best gift in the world and that it’s okay to indulge in that persistent sweet tooth.

These beautiful women, along with Sumit, Dayna, Julie, Kim, all the other amazing teachers who assisted during the program, and all of my other fellow trainees helped to show me that life isn’t worth living if you’re time is spent thinking about money, work, or your appearances, but it’s all about love and taking the time to express your love for your passions, your friends and your family. It is extremely bittersweet that training has come to an end, but I couldn’t be happier to have completed this chapter in my yoga journey and opened up a new page to what comes next. Namaste.

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The First Step

My first week of Sumits Hot Yoga teacher training has brought me out of my comfort zone, exercised my body and my mind’s limitations, introduced me to an incredibly talented and amazing group of people and most enormously, brought on a lot of change. In a season filled with on-the-go/ pre-holiday anxieties and potentially <<<Mercury in retrograde,>> early November has been filled with different kind of shifts (neither good nor bad) happening all around. From changing up my daily routine of sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours a day to practicing and learning yoga: the physical, philosophical and anatomical foundations. From living with my boyfriend and pretty much child (Oliver) to living with my parents – to simply making the time to focus on my yoga.

It’s a pretty incredible thing though to be able to have the time to practice twice a day.  Don’t get me wrong, It’s exhausting as I’ve been in bed by 9pm most nights because I simply can’t keep my eyes open, but it has been an amazing time to reflect. I imagined the training would strengthen my practice physically, and it absolutely has. For example, the first night we held several challenging poses for five minutes each – with our eyes closed.

However, I didn’t realize how much the training would challenge me mentally. One of the biggest and strongest takeaways this week – that has only just reinforced the truths I’ve learned thus far in life – is that so much of our life is controlled by the mind. We are always one thought away from a good mood. One shift away from a good experience. And, sometimes we just need a little change to stimulate that. This week’s training has also proved that the yoga isn’t about the physical postures we do. It’s only a small part. The first part is making up your mind. The first step is deciding to make a change.

The first step in the right direction