They call it the "Best Little Pore House in Texas" and a Bliss Spa facial is 70 minutes of intense attention to not only the pores on your face, but the skin on other parts of your body. It starts with a dark room and pretty music, cleansing and a hot towel to open the pores, then extractions of blackheads and whiteheads (ouch, but thanks!) and hydration. While a mask soothes your face, you get a lovely massage of neck and shoulders and even your feet. It's as much a massage as a facial, but your skin feels clean and radiant when you leave. When you pay your bill, you might run into Cuba Gooding Jr. or some other celebrity who just submitted their pores to the same thing. Bliss Spa is known for its little extras--cheese and crackers and heavenly brownies. Not ready to head home just yet? Pop into the steam shower in the changing room. Let the valet pour you like a limp noodle into your car. Basic Facial is $100 plus tip. Check the online "menu" for a wide variety of other facials, everything from microdermabrasion to the "triple oxygen treatment," whatever that is.
Photo albums, costume jewelry, Royal typewriter, prom dress circa 1967, sketched portrait of Colombian monkey, black clutch with railroad clasp, one copy of The Piano Artistry of Jonathan and Darlene Edwards on vinyl and one adorably snaggle-toothed dog named Frito. Since Dolly Python (a perfect hybrid of vintage boutique and antique store) opened late last year, it seems our grandmother's attic is right around the corner. OK, so maybe she didn't keep a live brindle-coated mutt up there, and her stock wasn't so popular she had to expand twice in one year, but you get the idea. Lucky for us, Dolly doesn't require anyone to straddle panels of insulation or endure rising heat as they search through the thousands of gems that pack the Python. The hunt for ever-changing aged treasure is definitely the best part--a variety of sellers such as Jason Cohen (of Forbidden Books & Video and Gallery fame) have booths here--but it's also nice to know proprietors Gretchen and Mac Frizzell love spending time there as much as their patrons. The store hosts the occasional after-hours party and Frizzell, her vintage fashion expertise, and mascots Frito and Lucy, are rarely far from the counter.
Cats, when they're born, take a solemn vow to get sick only at the worst possible times. In keeping with their mantra of "at our convenience, not yours," your cat will invariably develop a life-threatening condition in the middle of a holiday weekend. Fortunately for us, City Vet has Saturday hours. We've come to recognize--nay, be comforted by--the particular smell of City Vet disinfectant. Their friendly vets have treated our pets and answered a plethora of questions through many a disease and injury. Their two locations also offer dog boarding and doggie daycare--hey, is that your Weimaraner on the webcam? You'll never be so proud as when you capture that screenshot of Bowser at daycare taking a whiz on a toy poodle.
Catherine Niblack, the "cake lady" of Duncanville, was born in Sweden into a line of famous bakers. An uncle, she says, baked for the king, whose favorite treat was the uncle's mocha cake. The uncle later came to California and baked for Hilton Hotels. He left behind a book of recipes that Niblack still uses. Her cakes, baked in her home kitchen at the rate of one per week, are the stuff of legend among people lucky enough to see and taste them at area weddings. The serving slices are twice the size offered by most bakeries, at $2.50 a slice for wedding cakes and $3 for groom cakes, still based on the king's mocha in many cases. The number above is her home phone, and she can be called during "normal business hours." Appointments can be made to see pictures of her work. There have been occasions when her cake was the only thing at the wedding party that guests remembered years later.

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