Dallas Bucket List: Nasher Sculpture Center

Just a quick post this morning! I remembered that I marked something off my list! Yay!

Downtown, there’s this incredible museum with all kinds of sculptures displayed. Throughout the year, they host a big party in their backyard. There are food trucks outside and a band and popsicles and beer and when it gets dark, they start a movie on a big inflatable screen. My friend Cait and I finally got to go to one this summer! On the night they do these parties, the Nasher and the Dallas Museum of Art offer free admission! It’s a perfect way to see all that art. Just be prepared to be surrounded by people all night.

A perfect evening to cross one off the bucket list! We nearly melted in the heat, but a couple of Steel City Pops kept us cool. Along with some beer and food truck sushi. I can’t wait to go when it FINALLY gets cooler here in Texas! String lights overhead, hot chocolate…yay fall!




Dallas Bucket List: Experiencing Thai Food

Look, I’m pretty sure I’ve had Thai food before? But who can say! It’s been a long 25 years of life. I can’t keep track of every meal I have or every type of food I have. Thus, experiencing Thai food for the first time was added to the bucket list.

When I moved here I joined a website called Nextdoor. (You should seriously check it out.) It connects you to all of your neighbors! Only people in my neighborhood can be apart of my Nextdoor and see my posts. I’ve sold things on there, asked for recommendations, reported crime. It’s a lifesaver. Earlier this year one of my neighbors started a Bunco group. (If you don’t know what Bunco is you probably didn’t grow up in East Texas.) I got on the email list but every month there was a game, I was either busy or too tired or too anxious to go. But last month? I finally went. I bought a bottle of wine and showed up to a house full of complete strangers. I knew literally no one. Not even any of their names, besides the host that night. It was intimidating. I poured myself a glass of wine and made myself comfortable over by the window and heard an incredible story of raccoons having a party in one of the lady’s kitchens.

In Bunco, you basically end up playing with every person as your partner. It’s an excellent way to get to know people. For that I was very grateful. When I showed up I noticed there were two other girls there my age. I got to know them pretty well by the end of the night and we swapped numbers. The first time we all hung out was my first time having Thai! (Hi Janie and Abby! We’re, like, friends now.) I keep a separate list of restaurants and bars and on that list was Crushcraft. A very instagrammable place for Thai.

At Crushcraft you order first and then pick up your food. Abby decided we needed the Beer Tower; a literal tower of Thai beer. It was entirely worth it. Thai beer is delicious. We all got different dishes, all of which were very good. I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day. Worth it.

See those spring rolls? You should also get those. Yum.

My first time having Thai food was a win. Would definitely go back! Does this count as real Thai if it’s Americanized? I mean, the names of the dishes were Thai and we properly butchered their pronunciations. So maybe it’s pretty authentic? If you know of a real Thai place in Dallas let a girl know. I like food.




Dallas Bucket List: Trinity Skyline Trail

Remember when I did this? Turns out, Trinity Groves is basically on the Trinity Skyline Trail! What a coincidence, right? So after I’d had my fill of donuts and beer and sweat through my gray dress to let everyone know that butts indeed do sweat, we walked over to the trail. We stood high above the Trinity River and the wind was whipping at my Princess Leia buns.

That bridge, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge to be precise, is pretty new. They’re building another one just like it over to the right, out of frame of this photo. Construction of that thing is BANANAS. Like, exits changing every day bananas because they’re working on another part of the highway. So glad I don’t drive south very often. BUT OMG look at this skyline! This should make you want to move to Dallas. If not just to be closer to me, but to see this every day. I’m so grateful I get to live here. I drive to Walgreens and the skyline is staring me down like a mountain. It’s the coolest thing ever. The way the sun sets behind it, making it all shadowy. The way a big storm comes in and makes it disappear. The way it changes colors for holidays and big events. I’ll never ever take living here for granted.

On our way back to the car a homeless man appeared out from under the bridge singing pop songs at the top of his lungs. It wasn’t that family, though. They were aight.

You see those weird, white awning things that look like some futuristic windmills? Well, they’re not. Those line the actual skyline trail. It’s a footbridge. I was standing on the maintenance gravel road above the river. Which I also recommend walking on a little. Just maybe don’t go down to the river? Snakes, and all that.




In keeping with my Summer Bucket List, this marks one out of five of my goal this summer! Check out the rest of my Dallas Bucket List!

One Year: July Fourth and A Look Back

July Fourth is actually one of my favorite holidays. I’ve come to semi-enjoy the hot summer months in Texas where sweat running down your spine is just a part of life and having glasses of ice given to you at outdoor restaurants for “when the ice in your drink melts” is a normal occurrence. But what I really enjoy are the colors; red, white, and blue are festive and loud and bold. And fireworks make people’s faces light up and reflect in their eyes. And ice cream! Beer! Picnic blankets! It’s the epitome of summer! Plus, these pictures of Pepper from two years ago are still some of my favorites.


It was one year ago yesterday that I (finally) moved to Dallas. I don’t want to get too sappy here, because I do that on nearly every other platform, but it honestly was the best decision I’ve ever made. (Besides getting Pepper and fostering Suzanna. And all the chocolate I’ve ever eaten.) Once I made the decision definitively to move here it only took me about six months. Don’t say I’m not stubborn.

I remember the day we moved in, July 3, 2015. We were sweaty and my apartment wasn’t cooled down yet and the internet guy was walking around asking me where the phone jack was. We were crashed in places wherever we could find a seat and I was so happy. The night of the fourth we heard fireworks close and all crammed on my patio and ducked around the limbs of the crepe myrtle by my patio so we could see. We were sweaty, and I was happy. Everything I’d worked for kind of summed up in that moment. I got a job so I could afford an apartment so my family could move me in so we could stand on my patio and watch the fireworks coming from Fair Park’s annual July 4 celebration. It didn’t hit me for a few months just how good of a spot I’d snagged.

This last year has given me lots of things and taken away lots of things. I’ve had my heart broken four or five times in that apartment. I’ve cried millions of tears on those pillows, one of which still has a mascara stain. (Sorry, pillow.) I learned that just because you move to a new city doesn’t mean your old crap didn’t follow you. I learned how to be alone after four months of counseling. I learned how to delete the dating apps that were crippling me. I learned how to make my house a home. I learned how to budget (PRAISE HANDS) and how to save (!!!). I still haven’t learned, though, how hard it is to cook a meal for one person.

The first six months in that place were dark. Literally and figuratively. I’m sure you know this about me by now, but I don’t really care to be alone. Actually, I’d never really been alone until I moved here. But here I am, at 25, alone. I’m doing it gang! I’m good! I’ve made new friends, distanced myself from others, met people who were destructive and manipulative, met people who were encouraging and life giving, met perfect strangers that I am coincidentally connected to through random family members or other friends, I’ve stretched and grown and changed completely. I want to hug myself from one year ago and tell her, everything is going to be okay! We love life today! You’re so great! But I forgot to put in the crystals to my time machine and can’t do that.

I still don’t know why I’m here. Maybe it’s just so I can be whole and happy. But maybe there’s something bigger. I tend to believe that about anything in my life anyway. My last serious boyfriend used to tell me all the time that I was going to do great things here. I’m not sure that I’ve really done anything that great. Well, maybe I have. Maybe me changing and stretching and growing and being really me is something truly great. It’s great to me, anyway. And I’d like to think it’s great to someone else, too.

I want my life to be invested in other people. I didn’t change and grow and do all of these things to just say, “Well that was fun! Let’s write that in the journal and put it away in the cabinet.” I live to share. I live to love. I live to invest whatever it is that I have in this tiny, weird heart in someone else. Whatever I become; a writer, a musician, a blogger, I want that to be my end goal. Mindless chatter isn’t really my thing. I want these words to mean something. And I really hope they do.

What are you doing to enjoy the holiday? I’m currently at my parents’ house getting my air conditioning fixed in my car by my dad. (THANK YOU DAD AND THANK YOU GOD FOR A DAD THAT CAN DO THIS!) I’m heading back to Dallas this afternoon to partake in the Fair Park festivities. In person this time.

Happy Fourth, babes!



The One Where We Party at Mel’s House


Six out of seven of these people went to high school together and four out of seven of these people have known each other since elementary school or before. The fact that we hang out on a semi-regular basis while living all across Texas is a miracle. A miracle first because we all saw each other in middle school and are still friends and a miracle second because we live a minimum of an hour and a half away. And at one point living more than six hours away from each other. Madness. You know why we’re still friends? Because we make the time to be together. We make the time to spend weekends together sustaining our relationships. Real, genuine relationships. And for that I can never be more grateful.

Since moving to Dallas last summer, I’ve only hosted my family and the occasional sister. Until recently, I hadn’t met or known many Dallas natives to even host a party for. That’s a little different now, but I wanted my friends to come and celebrate with me. I wanted to show off what little I know about this city and get a little crazy with them. And we did.

The Austin crew rolled in around 6:30 or so while the Fort Worth and Addison locals showed up on either side of that. We made tacos, ate chips and salsa and guacamole, ate cookies that Christina was convinced had peanut butter in them (they did not), talked life and God and school, what we’re doing now, how much we’ve changed in the last seven or eight years, played with the dogs, and just spent time together smoking cigars on the patio. And yes, seven people can all fit on my patio “comfortably.” That’s good for me to know.

Around 11:30 we decided to hit the town and discover that most places in Lower Greenville close at midnight. What kind of madness is this, LG?! I’m v disappointed. We bar hopped for a second, discovered a very interesting DJ duo in full sequined body suits at Crown & Harp, and took an Uber uptown. There we watched one of our own get two phone numbers from guys that literally walked right up to her out of nowhere, lit candles with matches, flung coasters at each other, and cringed when the last call lights dimmed on.

We capped off the night piled on my living room floor crashing to Bob’s Burgers. Seeing seven people literally sleeping like sardines on my floor made me weirdly happy. To know that my home can make other people comfortable and happy and safe. It made me feel responsible and warm and good and proud and adult.

The next morning we drove to the cafe down my block because we were too tired and it was too hot to walk three blocks. We ordered food to go and ate it on my floor while Pepper tried to snag a bite.

My sister, Shelby, couldn’t make it this weekend so we FaceTimed her and filled her in on what all she missed. It was a lot.


I could not be prouder to call this group of diverse weirdos my friends. Even though we’re spread across DFW, Waco, Austin, College Station, Houston… we make the time to be together. That’s friendship. Sacrifice, love, and humility. Thank you guys for letting me be apart of this insane group of people. I LOVE YOU ALL.





This post marks one off my Summer Bucket List! Check out the rest of my list here.

Oh, Suzanna


We grew up with cats. We were a cat family. I can’t honestly remember a single time in my life as a kid where we didn’t have at least one cat. Allie, Spot, Pippin, Penny, Shakespeare, Ashes…we had a lot of cats. Cats begat kittens and those kittens went to some of my friends’ homes. So I guess you could say we were a cat community. (Quick! Someone write a script for a horrible sitcom called Cat Community.)

I loved cats growing up, but I always wanted a dog. A friend of mine growing up had a neighbor with the sweetest Golden Retriever you’ve ever seen. Abigail. Her ears were like velvet and I’d beg to go over and play with her every time I visited my friend. My obsession with dogs runs deep. It wasn’t until I got married, though, that I finally had the freedom to get one. And oh! Did I get one. Pepper quickly became my child and my best friend. She’s the greatest dog I’ve ever had.

Volunteering with animals in some way was always in the back of my mind. I just couldn’t bear the thought of seeing one hurting or being put down, so I never acted on it. But somehow, before I even moved to Dallas, I started following Paws in the City on Instagram and falling in love with every dog that was available for adoption. Earlier this year I applied to volunteer with them, got a call back, then forgot to call back. My b. But three weeks ago I got an email about two dogs looking for fosters. One was Suzanna. A cute little golden puppy wearing a blue tutu. I thought, why not?, and applied. I got a call back immediately, had a home check that Friday, and picked Suzanna up the next Tuesday. It was a whirlwind.

I had to hoist her up into my backseat and after adjusting for a second, she curled up in the floor for the short ride home. She didn’t exactly agree with Pepper right away, snapping at her if Pepper gets too friendly with her face, but they’ve come a long way in the six days they’ve been together.

Suz came to me with a double ear infection, skin infection, a highly contagious respiratory infection and had just had a litter of puppies. (I don’t know where they are. 🙁 ) She’s finishing up all of her medicine this week and is doing so much better. She greets me when I let her out of the kennel, tolerates Pepper now, and eats like a grown man. She licks and licks and comes to me for pets. She’s the sweetest puppy someone could ever ask for.

Paws in the City doesn’t think she’ll be in foster care too long because of how adorably young and cute she is, which simultaneously makes me so happy and so sad. But this is why we foster animals, right? To find them the right home! If everyone that fostered an animal adopted it, we’d have no fosters. Because believe me. If this gal isn’t adopted by someone soon, she’s going to be mine. But even if someone adopts her, I’m glad I got to care for her for this little while. And I’m glad she’s the one that lured me into this whole deal. It’s made me happier and more whole and I just feel great about everything.


To apply to adopt Suzanna, or any other Paws in the City animals, visit this link. They’ll thank you! And to see more of Suzanna and Pepper, follow me on Snapchat! @melodyrich