Work With Me Live Webinar/E-Course


The Best View in Dallas

Dallasites love their city. They love their sports teams, their myriad of restaurants and bars, their culture, and their heritage. For the first time ever, I went to the top of Reunion Tower for their GeO-Deck tour. It's a view like no other of Dallas. To say it was breathtaking is an understatement.

As a child, I went to Reunion Tower and sipped Shirley Temple's with my Dad. I put Reunion Tower on my "Dallas Bucket List" and on my "Helene's Best of Dallas" but in truth I had not been in the tower in a long time. 
Panning the downtown Dallas skyline from the GeO-Deck atop the Reunion Tower “ball” this weekend, felt like being in the opening scene from “Dallas.” I even got a 360-degree tour with Burk Murchison, the great grandson of Clint Murchison, one of the most famous Texas oilmen in history. Can’t get more Dallas than that. When my French ancestry somehow came up, he noted that the tower was named Reunion because owner Ray Hunt (son of famed oilman H.L. Hunt) wanted to pay homage to French settlers who came here to create a utopian community near the fork of the Trinity River in the 1850s. They called it La Réunion. The $16 tour is full of interesting facts I never knew despite being born and raised here. That makes it a must for locals and tourists alike. Go at sunset, when the colors reflecting off the blue-glass skyscrapers make for unique photo ops.

It’s also the perfect time for cocktails in celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s ultra contemporary Five Sixty restaurant and bar (named for height of the 560-foot tower). Sitting in the restaurant feels like floating in a glass bubble revolving over the city. Its floor-to-ceiling windows offer a birds-eye view of the landmark red neon Pegasus flying above the central business district, and the Texas Star Ferris Wheel at the State Fair off to the east, and a glimpse of the Fort Worth skyline 32 miles west.

The sleek Zen ambiance inside the circular Five Sixty features glass partitions and tables angled so no matter where you sit, you have an unobstructed view of the skyline. I watched the sun go down behind the Trinity through a glass of Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé. It was paired with Tuna Tartare in a tiny sesame miso waffle cone — among Puck’s signature appetizers. I watched the downtown lights blink on over a glass of Kamoizumi "Summer Snow” sake paired with a sampling of bite-size pork dumplings, sauteed sea scallops, and lobster and shrimp rolls, wrapped in crispy paper-thin bundles tied with a sprig of seaweed. While looking over the extensive Asian fusian menu, I noticed the night sky frame the green neon outline of the tall Bank of America building.

I tried the Redfish and my dinner partner (my mom) Nina Flournoy, chose the Cantonese-style duck. How could she pass it up after our extremely engaging waiter, Matthew, detailed the ancestry of the ducks and the painstaking steps in preparing the dish. And it was perfect, albeit a bit fatty and rich. Her meal was served with a Texas Pedernales Tempranillo red wine, while Matthew, who doubled as a budding sommelier, suggested Red Mare Chardonnay to accompany my fish. He nailed it.

Dessert, more western than Asian, was an unexpected highlight of the evening. Our waiter brought a bittersweet chocolate soufflé, which she split open with a spoon, then poured thick dark chocolate sauce into the steaming center, topped it with a scoop of gianduaja gelato and whipped cream, and drizzled additional chocolate over that. Wait, what? Yes, please.

Next we tried the baked Alaska. I could not contain my enthusiasm. This dome of white chocolate, buttermilk cake, encasing a mound of ginger ice cream, covered in toasted meringue goes on my list of the best desserts of all time. Ever. We chased it with a walnut Nocello Toscana liqueur, served with a hand-chiseled rock of ice. Clearly, I was engulfed in the food...

As you can guess this meal and this view comes with a substantial price tag. Expect to pay a minimum of $150 per person for a three-course meal with drinks. If that’s not in your budget, you might join the savvy bar crowd at Five Sixty who go for the great cocktails and a killer backdrop of one of the best skylines in the country.

Side note: The GeO-deck guides will encourage you to take a photo with your choice of backdrops and props, like cowboy hats. These are fun, especially for tourists, but somewhat pricey. Buying their photo is optional, but you can also have the photos emailed to you for free, so go for it. My favorite place to take photos was on top of the observation deck, fully windblown.

Have you ever been to Reunion Tower? Don't forget to add this to your Dallas bucket list!

  photo signature_8.png


The Plane Ride

Last night, on my flight home to Dallas, a miracle happened. Despite being in boarding group B number 48 (Southwest Airlines does open seating), I scored the very first aisle seat, meaning I would have the great advantage of extra legroom and be the first to get off the plane. (Nothing is more frustrating to me than having to wait to de-board a crowded plane.) It was just sitting there, waiting for me. I asked the 14-year-old boy with his headphones on if said seat was taken. He replied, "No," never looking up from his iPhone. 

Problem was,  I'd have to put my carry-on bag several rows back since all the overhead space was taken up front. So I walked back, accidentally hit the flight attendant with my belongings, hoisted up my duffel, and waited for an opening to get back to my seat. Of course, people kept filing in as I stood crouching over an older gentlemen who was clearly less than thrilled that I was cramping the already cramp space.

Finally, I saw an opening and took my seat with my purse and hat in my lap and my laptop under my feet. 

"Ma'am," the flight attendant said, already perturbed with me, "You can't put anything under your feet it has to go overhead since you're in the front row."

"Oh, okay sorry." I handed him my laptop. Finding no room, he had to put the bag way, way back. I was already getting nervous. How would I get my stuff back? When the plane landed would I make everyone get out of my way so I could still be the first off?

Also, I realized I had made a critical error: I left my headphones in the laptop bag that was now stowed overhead rows and rows behind me. (Listening to music on my phone is an essential flight pass-time for me.) The seat-belt sign illuminated and I was stuck in my seat, unable to retrieve my headphones.

The flight left promptly at 8:50 p.m. and the flight attendants turned off the lights almost immediately. It was dark. Really dark. I decided to close my eyes before getting down to my goal: writing. Plus, I get motion sickness and needed to get rid of it. I had my eyes closed for maybe five minutes when I heard a noise to my left. The 14-year-old boy was not flying solo. Next to him was, I'm assuming, his girlfriend. They were approaching third base at 40,000 feet.

I wish I was making this up.

My eyes shot open and I sat there trying to figure out just what to do. Was this legal? Don't they know we're on a plane? Go to the bathroom!

I cleared my throat, hoping this nubile pervert would remove his hand from his girlfriend's crotch. But he seemed unfazed by my gesture. I didn't know what to do. I just couldn't handle it. Without thinking I reached above my head and turned on the light. "So y'all from Dallas?" I interrupted with a perky Texas twang.

They glared at me, straightened up, and said, "No, we're from France." 
Ahhhh, now it all made sense. 

As soon as the seat belt sign blinked off I stumbled back to retrieve my headphones. But I couldn't find my laptop bag. Please note: I was the only person standing and probably the only person talking. I had to use my iPhone light to search through the compartments in the dark plane, clearly causing a scene.

 I asked the flight attendant where he put my laptop. He didn't remember, so we searched the plane. I knew I was disrupting my fellow passengers, who were already annoyed with me, so I figured I'd just go for it.

We found it and in the process I discovered a space for my bag and laptop closer to me. This would put my plan for a quick exit back on track. Perfect. But as soon as I tried to heave my bag into the overhead compartment, it fell on my face. The flight attendant rushed over to help.  I apologized profusely, assuring him that I'm not normally this needy. Or obnoxious.

Anyone who flies frequently remembers the occasional obnoxious person who disrupts the flight. Last night, it was me. But if I learned anything, it's this: there are some definite drawbacks to the front row of the plane.

 photo signature_8.png


Back to Texas

Life ain't a track meet, it's a marathon.

I apologize for opening up this post with a rap lyric (Ice Cube's "You Can Do It" is still one of my all time faves). But I'm feeling amped up! I'm going back to Dallas for the first time since July, I know y'all, such a long long time ago. And I'm feeling ecstatic after my webinar last night: Get Noticed Now. Chatting with other bloggers just makes me so happy.
State Fair of Texas, Dallas

Tonight my Mom picks me up from the airport and I have a whirlwind weekend ahead of me:
- State Fair of Texas to see pics from last year, click that link. The girl who's wedding I'm going to is a professional photographer and we went to take pics last year. All the fried food in hi-def.
- A Rehearsal Dinner
- Wedding (I'm in this one and I can't wait!)
- After the wedding I'm going to a very late night concert at my favorite venue in Dallas: The Lizard Lounge. It's safe to say I'll be the only one in a bridesmaid dress.
- Dinner at Reunion Tower
- Seeing all my friends including this girl!!
I will be without a car and I intend to fully embrace that. It will be like the old days when I have to rely on my parents to pick me up from school and soccer. After all, I probably should have had my license revoked after my hit and run accident

Some things I've noticed about Nashville:
- The Tornado warning here (at least the testing) sounds kind of like music out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Not alarming, just kind of creepy.
- I am dying on my bike (this could also be because I'm extremely out of shape... maybe) the hills here are tough.
- Hot chicken might just be too hot for me, I am weak.
- People here drive slower.
- People here are genuinely nice.
-  There are not enough Chik Fil A's (Helene, stop thinking about food.)

I'll be documenting the fun on instagram @heleneinbetween and Snapchat, username: helenesula. Now, I should probably go pack my bag.

  photo signature_8.png


My Most Impactful Blog Posts

Today marks one of the most significant days in my life. On this day, three years ago, is when I mark the start of my blog. I blogged a little bit beforehand, but today is my unofficial start date because something happened. Something big.

Three years ago today I was dropped 20 feet while indoor rock climbing. It was completely and totally my belayer's fault (the girl that holds the rope and lets me go up and down). She told me to come down, but had the safety open, so when I came down I landed on my right ankle, breaking it along with my leg.

It was of course, very lucky that I wasn't paralyzed (or worse). But the reason why I was able to really start the blog was because I was holed up, in my house, for 6 months. So, I started Helene in Between.

I blogged about everything. About my accident, about my life, about social media (my job), and so much more. Little did I know this would turn into what it's become today. I'm not saying my rock climbing fall was detrimental to my life, I just cannot believe that such a horrible event helped me find my passion.

In case you're wondering, I have yet to go rock climbing again. Every time I think of that, I get nervous. Michael still goes often but I just can't shake the nerves. Maybe one day.

Today I wanted to bring you my most popular posts from the past three years. The ones that are commented on, shared, or seemed to make an impact:

Why I'm Reading Your Blog - A look at why certain blogs are ones I'll read again and again

Blonde Hair Without the Salon - Self explanatory but also one of the weirdest posts since one of the pictures was used as a meme.

How to Bring Hits to Old Blog Posts - More traffic? Yes please. 

How to Get To Tomorrowland - A post about the greatest music festival: Tomorrowland. Tickets sell out in mere seconds so this is highly searched on Google. 

Is Blogging Dead? - Deep thoughts about the state of blogging.

No Pants Dance - If you haven't read this post, just do it. You'll learn basically all you need to know in this one tiny story.

Hi World, I Blog - What it's like to tell people that you "blog."

That Time I Danced on a Cruise Ship - Who me? Front and center? NEVER!

What Companies Are Looking For In A Blogger - I've been on both sides, here's my take.

14 Photo Ideas For Instagram - because we all get in a rut sometimes. 

You Don't Care, You're Married! - I got mad and blogged about it.

How to Write a Killer Guest Post - Because guest posts are great.

8 Signs You're In A Healthy Relationship - Runner up: I'm in an Open Relationship.

SEO for Bloggers - Easy ways to implement it right now.

The Big Leap - We moved! And why we decided to make a change.

Thanks for sticking with me on this blogging journey! Don't forget the Free webinar: Get Noticed Now is tonight. Sign up here is you haven't yet: