Category: DFW

My Fitness Journey: Trying Out Curves – No Makeup, No Men, No Mirrors

Thank you Curves International for sponsoring this post.

Over the last eighteen months, I’ve been on a fitness journey. I’ve committed to working out 2-3 times a week, eating healthy, and losing weight. I’ve lost about 40 pounds, but still have a lot of work to do. I love trying new work outs, so when the folks from Curves asked me to try out the 30 minute circuit training method their gyms offer, I was in. Trying a new gym can be intimidating, but the Curves coaches made us feel right at home instantly. They talked us through the circuit, and what each machine does, and then let us jump in to action.

My favorite things about the Curves program are that you can arrive and jump in to the circuit any time, without having to worry about a schedule. You listen to the recording of the instructor on the screen, and move to the next exercise each time she tells you. The exercises alternate between cardio and weight machines. The Curves coaches helped me every time I was confused on a machine, which made the process so easy.

So many things about traditional gyms can make it difficult to enjoy a work out. The biggest ones for me are feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing, and feeling like other people are judging me for not knowing what I’m doing or looking silly. At Curves, the coaches take all the guess work out of the exercises. Their policy of no men and no mirrors made me much less self conscious than I normally am at the gym, and I loved being able to just focus on the work out. Curves International, Inc. happens to be one of the largest chains of fitness clubs for women in the world and its 30-minute circuit work out with a coach works every major muscle group with strength training, cardio and stretching.

Curves is also celebrating 25 years of fitness this month, and wants you to join in the party. Find our local Curves here, and see if the Curves circuit is right for you. You can also follow along on social media so you don’t miss any of the anniversary giveaways. Check out Curves on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

This post was sponsored by Curves International but the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Kids Go FREE to Medieval Times!

Are you ready to blast your family back to the 11th century this summer? Right now, Sundays through Thursdays at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament in Dallas. Kids are completely FREE with the purchase of a full price adult ticket. It’s time to give your family the medieval experience of their dreams! Enjoy a 2-hour authentic medieval grand tournament including horses, jousting, fighting and fun! All of this while you enjoy a delectable 4-course feast. Head here for details:  http://www.medievaltimes.com/plan-your-trip/dallas-tx/special-offers/kids-free-blog-coupon.html

 

This offer is only valid at the Dallas castle, go to www.medievaltimes.com for offers at other locations.

Family Fun in DFW: Amazing Jake’s Plano

Family Fun with GoKarts at Amazing Jakes

Summer days are long and hot in Texas, and we are always looking for a way to beat the heat and have fun as a family. Recently we had the opportunity to visit Amazing Jake’s in Plano, and it was a blast for the whole family. Located close to 75/North Central Expressway in Collin Creek Mall, Amazing Jake’s is worth the drive from all over the metroplex. Read on to find what we thought about the entertainment at Amazing Jake’s for toddlers, preschoolers, and adults.

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Best of DFW: Must Follow Dallas Fort Worth Bloggers #DFW

must follow bloggers of the dallas fort worth metroplex #bestofdfw

Living in a huge metroplex like DFW has its perks, one of which is an awesome blogging community. I love connecting with other folks who understand this weird job I do and understand making a living in the digital space. They each have a unique voice and website with fabulous content and resources applicable to life in DFW and beyond. I hope my favorite Dallas Fort Worth bloggers will become your’s, too. Check them out and follow along.

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Dining Out in Dallas for Under $20: Top Ten Taco Edition

Dining out in Dallas can be both an amazing culinary adventure and a major budget buster.  Fortunately there are many affordable options out there for a lunch or dinner out without sacrificing quality or taste.  Jed and I always say we could eat Tex Mex food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and here in DFW you can do just that.  Read more about our dining out budget here.  Tacos are always a quick and easy crowd pleaser and Dallas has an abundance of fabulous choices from trendy to funky to authentic.  Check out the top ten taco shops where a couple can eat for under $20.
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Dining Out in Dallas for Under $20: Burgers and American Food

American food and burger joints are often family friendly but can run the gamut from fast food to gourmet.  Here in Dallas there are a million options if you are craving a burger and fries, but some of them will break the bank.  If you’ve read about our financial story, you know our dining out budget is TIGHT.  This list will give you the top ten burger and American food restaurants where a couple can eat for under $20.  At a few of them you can even feed a family of four for under $20.  From plain jane to funky toppings, however you like your burger you will find great prices and quality food at all the restaurants on this list.  Step away from the golden arches and head for one of the great options below.

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Babies in the Pumpkin Patch

Fall is my favorite.
Pumpkins and pumpkin flavored things abound and the weather eventually cools down.  
It makes me want to be outside all day every day.
My favorite pumpkin patch in DFW is the pumpkin village at the Dallas Arboretum.  We were members for years when we lived close by, but now only visit on occasion.  There are thousands of pumpkins and it is a festival of autumn delights.  We took the Pearl girl for her first time and promptly plopped her in the Bear’s lap for a photo shoot.  She was not sure what to make of the whole situation. 

The one below is my favorite so far.  Her eyes are filled with wonder and he is hugging her so sweetly.  It turned in to more of a headlock shortly after.  We’ve got to work on the brother/sister pose.

What is your favorite thing about fall?

Family Fun in DFW: Visiting the Owens Big Orange Pumpkin Farm


Fall is my favorite. It might be 90 degrees outside in Texas, but we will set our babies in pumpkin patches and drink pumpkin drinks and eat pumpkin treats anyway, dang it.  One of the fabulous things about DFW is that even though we live in a giant metroplex, there are a ton of rural areas close by.  The Owens Farm is actually smack in the middle of Richardson, and is the original farm started by the Owens family of tasty sausage fame.  Sadly, the Bob Evans company that now owns the farm is closing it in November.  This was our last shot to visit the farm we drive past nearly every day.



The Bear was in farm heaven.  He loved it all.  The horses, goats, mini horses and donkeys, chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs, and plethora of pumpkins all captured his imagination and he ran around with wild abandon.

We all loved the hayride.  
Bear talked about riding on the tractor for days after.
Apparently I dressed Ellie like a boy because folks kept asking, “How old is he?”, which reinforced my theory that I have a looser definition of gender neutral than most people.  I think she looks adorable in her cowgirl boot socks, pumpkin hat, and striped overalls.  

The Owens Big Orange Pumpkin Farm runs through the end of October and costs $7 on weekends and $6 on week days per person.  On week days you may run in to field trips, but you get a pumpkin with your admission price. On the weekends you get a hot dog instead of a pumpkin. I tried to negotiate for a pumpkin instead, but they said no. It is a fun day out, but not exactly frugal.  We thought Bear would get in for free because he is 2, but found out at the gate they charge for 2 and up.  We still had a blast, even though Jed and I were a little frustrated about the unexpected cost.

Do you like to visit a pumpkin patch with your family? Where is your favorite one located?
Don’t forget I have a great list of  fall festival corn maze and pumpkin patch discounts posted here.

Family Fun in DFW: Rough Riders Baseball

The DFW metroplex has so much to offer when it comes to watching sports live.  My personal favorite is minor league baseball.  Don’t get me wrong, I love watching the Rangers.  I prefer minor league baseball because it is amazing to watch the players pursue their dreams with passion and talent, and tickets are much more affordable.  Many of them may never make the big show, but they work hard and spend countless nights on uncomfortable buses traveling endlessly around the south playing their hearts out.  That kind of dream chasing is inspiring.  
The Rough Riders are the AA farm team for the Texas Rangers.  This means we have the unique opportunity to watch players develop and then see them play in the big leagues as well.  It is so fun to see someone you’ve cheered for make their dreams come true when they get called up.  On rare occasions we get to watch Rangers stars play close up when they are rehabing an injury.  We had such an opportunity when we visited Dr. Pepper stadium, because Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison was on the mound. 
Here is the Pearl Girl at her first baseball game.  Please note she is dressed in a cowgirl dress in honor of the home team mascot.  

The Bear loved his first game, though he didn’t make it all the way through.  He has asked several times to watch baseball this past week.  I grew up watching the Arkansas Travelers play with my parents and grandparents.  My Grandmom and Grandad rarely missed a home game, and even had their picture featured in a Southern Living article on minor league parks. There is nothing like cheering on the home team with your family, and I hope this was the first of many games for us.

If you are interested in taking your family to watch the Rough Riders play in Frisco at Dr. Pepper Ballpark, you can buy tickets and get more information on their website here.  There are still plenty of home games left this month, and the season starts again in April of 2014. The team offers fabulous season ticket packages to fit every budget as well as meal packages with unlimited food and drinks.  Rough Rider season tickets are the perfect holiday gift for the baseball fans in your life.  You can also follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
**Thanks so much to the Rough Riders organization for providing tickets for our family in exchange for this post.  All opinions are strictly my own.  
What is your favorite sport to watch live?

Dining Out on a Dime in DFW: Taco Joint

Our family loves delicious food, but we live on a tight budget.  You can read about how we stick to our dining out budget here.  As a result, we love to find fabulous restaurants where we can stretch out dining out dollars and have a fantastic meal at the same time.  I’ll share my finds here on the blog so that you can “dine out on a dime” as well.

 My husband, Jed, has often stated that he could eat Tex-Mex for breakfast lunch and dinner.  At Taco Joint you can do just that and not spend a fortune.  A family of 4 can eat at Taco Joint for under $20, which is awesome.

  I highly recommend the brisket tacos for $1.99, and you can upgrade to a meal with beans and rice for $8.29.  Friends of mine love the Lester (grilled sirloin) and the Evan (vegetarian).  You can get the “Gaston Grab” for a crowd, 6 breakfast tacos for $11.79.

Taco Joint has 2 locations – 911 N. Peak St and 6434 E. Mockinbird Ln (Mock/Abrams).  The Lakewood location has happy hour from 3-7 pm Monday – Friday and a fun patio.

What’s your go-to restaurant when you want a great meal without spending a ton?  

This is not a sponsored post, and all opinions are my own.