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Life in DFW

My life as a wife and mom in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and all things fun about it!

Filtering by Tag: Family

Corn Maze, Pumpkins, & Hay Rides - It's Hall's Pumpkin Farm!

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

Our visit to Hall's Pumpkin Farm and Corn Maze in Grapevine, TX. FREE admission, BBQ, Ice cream - one of the best pumpkin patches in DFW!

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Bubblies, Starfish, and Fun for All Ages - It's #GrapeFest!

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

I had been talking about this event since August, and I also did an instagram giveaway for it (congrats to all the winners!) last week. On September 15, The 30th Annual GrapeFest finally took place! And I am so grateful that I got to come and cover the event for 2 days, and even did an instagram takeover with Visit Grapevine

The event was free all day on Thursday (9/15) and free from morning till 5 pm on Friday (9/16), and because J was in school and Mr.Man was obviously at work, I got to enjoy the festival on the first day all by myself!

Click play to watch the whole experience and don't forget to subscribe :)

https://youtu.be/IPtlcFA5KIA

There were so many unique vendors selling everything from jewelries, apparels, to funny wooden signs (one of them says, "God is great. Beer is good. People are crazy" ;) and unique beautiful wine bottle holders.

Now because it was super hot outside, I decided to have my lunch at my favorite spot, Main Street Bakery. But on the second day, I had the brisket on a bun and corn dog with J by the Gazebo Stage.

Pauline, the manager of Main Street Bakery gave me this delicious cronut! It messed up my dress with all of its chocolate syrup drippings. But it was worth it!

What I loved about this festival was the fact that they put time and effort to entertain kids as much as they do with adults. They have interactive games, petting zoo (where a goat jumped onto my chest asking for food and got me screaming like crazy lol), Sea Life touch pool, LegoLand activity center, and GrapeStomp for kids called KidStomp!

I ended both my first and second day at the Champagne Terrace. I would like to participate in the People's Choice Wine Tasting but with a kiddo and no stroller, I had to skip it this year.

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I love this magical moment where the bubble machines were blowing a bazillion bubbles in front of the Champagne Terrace and all of the kids went running to catch them.

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This is insta-worty for sure! ;)

Over all it was an awesome experience, with the food, the live music, and various different wine tastings from different continents that took place. I cannot wait to go back next year!

The Highend But Approachable Board & Barley

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

The weekend is almost here and it's time for me to share about my current favorite place to eat around the DFW metroplex and beyond. My family has been so blessed to be able to do this together as a unit, and J has been such a good little foodie so far so we hope that we can keep this up at least once a month! ;) We had never been to Denton's Historic Downtown Square before so we were so excited to come explore it two weeks ago. They have everything from coffeeshops, pizza places, to boutiques, and more importantly, Denton's first brewpub restaurant, Barley & Board.

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Nestled in the historic Texas Building, Barley & Board has that industrial-country feel to it with bricks, woods, leathers and of course a moose head wall mount. You can hear music like those of Alina Baraz & The Galimatias playing in the background while watching people taking pictures by the mural right across the street through their huge windows.

Check out the in-house brewery! Looking at it got us thirsty! Actually, looking at their menu would make you thirsty, because they pair every meal with a matching beer right on the menu cards! Anyways, Mr. Man went ahead and ordered one of their IPAs.

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I had one of their craft cocktails called Clara Lou, which is an original creation by B&B's bartender that is made of tequila, hibiscus syrup, lime & grapefruit. Ooh, yes it was good. And that flower is edible by the way!

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Our very knowledgable waiter recommended us to try their Sweet Potato Hummus which is served with warm pita breads, pepitas, and chipotle oil. So we placed our order while snacking on some warm sweet & spicy mixed nuts. It's got thyme, brown sugar, and cayenne! Not your regular mixed nuts!

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The hummus was bomb!! What a brilliant idea! The mashed sweet potatoes with garlic and chickpeas make such a great combo. Love the sweetness that you don't normally get in regular hummus. And the Bacon Wrapped Medjool Dates were beautiful. The chorizo and piquillo sauce meet the sweetness of the dates - yummm.  I admire Executive Chef Chad Kelley's attention to detail!

You're probably wondering what J was having. Well he LOVED their matchstick fries! So much that he didn't mind having them without ketchup!

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We had heard that the B&B's Burger had just been named the best in Dallas by D Magazine, so of course Mr. Man had to give it a try. It was very straightforward and simple, they didn't try to get too fancy with it. A couple of fluffy buns, a well-seasoned patty, sweet onions, house sauce and American Cheese (yes, not brie cheese or anything like that) - and you got an amazing burger. Well, burgers don't have to be  complicated right?

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Now my friend, the picture above is a pic of  the Sweet Pig & Angry Bird: half rack ribs, brazen quail, slaw, & pickles. Yup. Seriously, bomb! The sauce really stood out for me because it has that tanginess to it that I like.

Now we were super full by this point, so we decided to box out the leftovers and went straight for the happy endings ;) They don't have their desserts printed on the menu cards, but they do serve them, so you better check with your waiters.

I ordered the scrumptious deconstructed strawberry shortcake with lemon shortbread and amaretto whipped cream. I could taste a hint of basil on their strawberries sauce there. So divine!

Mr. Man went with B&B's own version of s'mores with a thick oatmeal cookie, thick toasted marshmallow cream, and dark chocolates. Again, I love how Barley & Board takes something familiar and classic, and make it their own. Not overly complicated, although very detailed, and highend but approachable. We can't wait to go back!

Have a good weekend, y'all!

 

Rustic, Cozy, & Generous - It's Great Harvest Bread Co.

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

The long weekend is almost here! To celebrate, I'd like to talk about our new favorite spot in the city of Southlake that has got us falling in love with bread all over again, Great Harvest Bread Company :) GHS (5 of 15)

The first thing you'd notice when you walk into this place is the rustic, magnolia-ish vibe that they've got going on here with wooden tables, wooden crate boxes, a marquee sign, and metal signs.

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You can hear songs like Vance Joy's Georgia playing in the background, and sometimes even the sound of the employees karaoke-ing to the store's playlist while happily preparing your sandwiches.

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I dig their mission! Especially the part where it says, "Run fast to help everyone and give generously to others." That should be our life mission in general!

Love the nice Texas touch there with the God Bless Texas sign, the pale blue hydrangeas, and the coffee marquee sign. This place feels like a cozy country home that you just want to stay in for hours. And don't get me started on their housemade bread! And butter!

The Vanilla Honey Butter served on a warm toast (ask for Bread of the Day!) was just divine! That, served with a cup of locally roasted coffee or craft tea? Hmm...I know where I'd be going for my Fall/Winter-warm-beverage-fix this year!

If you're craving for something more filling than breads and muffins, they have a great variety of sandwiches and salads. My favorites  was the Grown Up Grilled Cheese! I had it with some sparking clementine soda, and topped it off with their delicious Cashew Crunch Bar!

If you plan to visit this place at anytime soon, I suggest you to start at the bread tasting board. Just pick a bread, maybe a little butter, and sample the delicious baked goods! You won't be disappointed!

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Of course my little J wouldn't sit still. He was dancing while standing on his chair and drinking soda! Notice the camo cast on his left hand? Yeah, he's back on it for a couple of months to speed up the recovery process. If you're wondering what it's for, read about it here :)

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Their mission about helping people is not just for the sign they hang on their walls. GH Southlake actually saves their breads for homeless shelters!

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Now that's a bakery, as it ought to be --> Feeding the hungry and bringing a little happiness to people's hearts with one fluffy, made-from-scratch, quality bread at a time.

Can't wait to come back here and chill with my family :)

Have an awesome Labor Day weekend y'all!

Expecting A Little and Getting A Lot.

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

I usually treat my birthdays like the New Years. I would stay up until 12, list all of the major things that had happened throughout the year (from the last birthday to the upcoming birthday), and then list my goals for the 'new year'. I'd also expect my loved ones to put together a more elaborate celebration for me. Like last year, I asked Mr.Man for a staycation in downtown Dallas. This year however, I didn't feel the need to do anything major. I just wanted to chill with my family! Maybe I am getting old?

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So didn't do much prior to the 'big day', even though it was going to my birthday + mother's day combo. I just went to Susie Cakes, got my Vanilla Celebration cake (Susie gave me discounts, thank you ma'am), and got my pictures taken by the talented Beckley & Co. 

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The theme of the shoot was just me strolling around downtown Dallas with some white balloons, wearing nothing fancy, just a casual kimono sleeve dress by ASOS, no high heels, just me being me.

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Yeah, I suck at fake-laughing. LOL. Anyways, if you were wondering about the necklace...

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It's PETRA necklace by SLATE, it's sold for $70, but if you sign up for a monthly jewelry subscription with Rocksbox using my code MOZDEBXOXO, you can borrow it for a month for FREE along with 2 other jewelries on your first month :)

Afterwards, the birthday week that I thought would be 'plain' and simple turned out to be epic when on Wednesday Ms. Lauryn Hill performed in Dallas. I have been a fan of hers my whole life and to finally see her perform was a dream come true!

I went to a bunch of meetings during the week, got some partnership opportunities that I look forward to, and finally went to a yummy brunch with my family at our favorite spot on Saturday.

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Of course you cannot expect a 2.5 year old to behave at brunch. We stayed for 1.5 hour and then left immediately before he started screaming. Haha. #momstruggles.

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I had the lox benedict, wasn't impressed because look at those tiny pieces of lox! And the caviars were barely there. Ugh, I was expecting more, I would go with the Duck Confit at next time.

On the day, I stayed home the whole day with Mr. Man and J. We ate some home-cooked Indonesian food (which is the best food!), watched TV, and just chilled. But then at night, Mr.Man took us to Perry's Steakhouse for some serious dinner.

Had some Rosa Regale, chopped salad, fried asparagus, and the Mother's Day specials : Pork Chops. Unfortunately, they were very salty so I didn't finish mine. And we weren't the only ones disappointed, the guests on the table next to us were also disappointed!

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It was still a good night regardless, because I got to spend time with my two favorite people at a nice restaurant. Mr.Man said he took us to fancy dinner (and gave me a budget to go shopping! He also booked me a massage appointment) because I didn't ask for anything this year.

Funny how that works in life and relationships sometimes. When you don't demand too much and pressure others to give to you too much, you might just get more than you expect. 

 

And I thought wow  I didn't plan to have such a great birthday week this year, but everything fell into place just perfectly and I got to enjoy my birthday without asking too much or spending too much.  bday (9 of 9)

We told one of the servers that we weren't happy with the pork chops so they didn't charge us for them (yay!). We ended the night by savoring some delicious desserts that actually saved the night.

Well,I hope you guys had a wonderful Mother's Day and to all of you May babies out there, happy birthday! Cheers!

 

#SpringGoals

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

2 weekends ago marked the beginning of Spring. The season where a lot of people get sick (including J and Mr. Man) because of pollen allergies and what-not, while others soak up the sun and enjoy the chilly yet sunny weather with picnics and al fresco dining. blueedited-4

 

A vast majority of people usually do a lot of cleaning and decluttering (especially with their closet, fridge, and pantry!!) at this time of year. Many others usually focus more on getting their bodies toned for the 'bikini season' that is coming in a few months. That's why you'd see a lot of 'bikini bootcamp' tips circulating around pinterest at this time of year. A lot of people also go on vacations mainly for spring break. Or if they don't, they'd probably have their summer vacation planned out already.

I, on the other hand, am currently not seeing the urgency of doing all of the above.

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My house is pretty clean, although I will need to clean blackberry stains on my carpet with some vinegar and baking soda soon. I don't have a bikini-body but I don't even wear bikinis. So, all that's left for me to focus on are other urgencies like medical bills, J's health, my mom's upcoming visit and tons of work (events, collaborations, etc) that are due this Spring. On top of it all, I still have to be a good wife, and make room for some quality time with Mr.Man. Dude, my brain could explode any minute!

So  I have only one #SpringGoal : To declutter my mental closet. 

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Now, how do we declutter? By throwing away everything we don't and won't need in the future (that's why you look for any expired food to throw away from your pantry right?). Everything that we don't fit in anymore and things that are not relevant for us going forward - they have to go!

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If it was an internet browser, my mind would have so many 'tabs' opened in every second of the day. But you know what, not all of them needs to be opened! In fact, most of them are the things that I can toss out of my mental closet. Like J in the picture above. I often stare blankly at one spot like that, while 'trying on' different thoughts that I keep in my mental closet. Some are good and creative (I get so many brilliant ideas during the day), but some are just pure insecurities and worries.

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So yeah, this spring, and everyday, I'm hoping to throw away any thoughts that are no longer relevant to who I am today and who I want to become, to what my marriage is and what I want it to become, to who my son is and who I want him to become, etc. 

How about you?

***

these pictures were taken along the Las Colinas Boulevard in Irving. J's wearing a muscle tee from Ollie and Mave :) 

A Little Pre-Valentine's Day Family Staycation

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

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We don't usually celebrate Valentine's Day, because well...I'm just not into anything cheesy and lovey dovey like that (ever since I was a teenager, true story!). So when I noticed that Valentine's Day was like 2 weeks away from last weekend, I thought, hey, why not do a little staycation around my city of Las Colinas and have a little getaway with my little family. Any excuse to have a little getaway, right? So last weekend we stayed at NYLO Hotel Las Colinas. And we loved it!

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I like the modern and spacious loft design, with a touch of industrial decor around the hotel. The room is just the right size for our small family. To get the glimpse of our staycation, click play and don't forget to subscribe on youtube.

https://youtu.be/o3YnIEXMz10

We got everything from waffles, chinese food, to fresh-cut tulips, turned on the TV and just chilled there. It's nice to not have to clean up and make your bed every once in a while.

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Yes, J loves his orange juice. And I love spending a Saturday, not having to worry about events and what-not. I didn't even post anything on my social media that day! I think that's the essence of 'celebrating love' - as most people believe February 14th is all about. I personally like having J with us, because, well...my love is for him too, not just for Mr. Man. And it's just more convenient to have us all together. It's just the 3 of us anyways. But whatever works for you, kid or no kid, as long as you can have a little 'sabbath' from work and routines and getaway with your loved ones.

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We talked, argued a little bit, ate, laughed, and rested. I don't know what they put in our pillows but we slept good that night. Cute coffee mug? I know! I got it from ILY Couture. It's on sale now so get it quick!

The next day, we had breakfast at The Loft at NYLO.

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And Mr.Man played pool while Jerome chilled with his youtube videos.

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If you don't have any plans yet for Valentine's Day weekend, NYLO hotel Las Colinas offers special rates starting at $199 per couple, which include a 1 night stay and 3-course dinner on the Valentine's Day eve (Saturday, February 13th) with delicious menus like Peppercorn Orange Poached Shrimp. Lamb Chops, and Chocolate Walnut Bread Pudding. Yumm!!

Book your stay now and if you don't know where to go or what to do during your stay around Las Colinas/Irving, check out Visit Irving's blog.

*in-room photos by Beckley.Co // in partnership with NYLO Hotels.

 

The 2015 Brick Universe Dallas

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

Although I'm not really big on building stuff with LEGO bricks, even on my spare time, I was excited to attend the 2015 Brick Universe at Irving Convention Center last Saturday.  Why? Because I got 2 dudes in my family! And because it wasn't just a LEGO art exhibition, but they had so many activities for kids of all ages! We got there at around 11.30 a.m. (it only took us about 5 minutes to get to ICC, yay!), and after getting our ticket at the lobby, we were 'greeted' by this gigantic Manhattan Bridge made of LEGO. Whaaaat?

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Yes it's real. And since the genius behind this remarkable work was hanging around the exhibition area, I decided to approach him and do a little interview. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Jonathan Lopes.

 

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I must admit that I thought his last name was spelled "Lo-pez" like J-Lo's, but it's actually Lopes haha! So I literally said, "Hi, Jonathan Lo-pez!" :P Thankfully he pardoned my misunderstanding and answered my questions anyway.

 

Lopes has always been a creative person, and since 1997 has been 'playing around' with LEGO bricks as his creative outlet. He started by buying a few LEGO kits to build a train layout. As he gained more knowledge and experience, about 5 years ago, Lopes started to build commission pieces for office buildings and exhibitions. However, this is not his full-time job. Whaaat.

 

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It took him up to 50 hours to build this bridge! And to my surprise, he did NOT use any computer programs to help him design the whole thing! "I depended on my knowledge of the LEGO pieces," he said. "I'm all about doing it organically."

 

Although many people would want to hear him say that the Manhattan Bridge is his favourite work, Lopes admitted that his favourite is actually this piece modelled after a Fire Fighter Building. He likes it because of the green trees.

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There were a lot of other cool stuff that you could find at the LEGO convention, like Clone Army Customs, LEGO Roses, and robotic legos.

 

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Not to mention cool LEGO artworks, besides Lopes', with so many different themes from famous skyscrapers to Star Wars.

 

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What a right timing! #PrayforParis

 

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Never forget.

 

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Of course the Stormtrooper had to be here.

 

They also had tons of activities that expanded kids' creativity as it entertained them like building walls with giant LEGO bricks, inflatable slides, and many more!

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My favourite LEGO piece to work with though was this dude right here. I wish I could take him home with me!

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It'd make a good lunch bag wouldn't it? ;) Oh well.

Decks in The Park : Millennial Parents' Party

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

Whoa...I can't believe that I'll turn 26 this Friday! Still very young right? Probably too young to have a 20 month-old boy and a husband (for some people). Marriage is often believed to be something that would suck the youth out of you. But to be honest, I have learned that if you're not being intentional about keeping your spirit/positivity/ hope/ love turned up, life itself will suck the youth out of you, regardless of your marital status and age. Now I am very grateful that our little family is blessed enough to have moved to Dallas last year. Here in America, like in many other western countries, having kids is more 'accommodated' with tons of free activities at beautiful parks, museums, libraries, and other public spaces. I remember how difficult it was to get around and look for fun activities for J back home in Indonesia. The traffic, smoking policy, poor condition of the public spaces, limited activity options for kids that are outside the malls --Hmm...let's just say I really needed to be extra creative to come up with our own activity options.

Anyway, thankfully, today, I get to truly enjoy learning to be a wife and a parent in Dallas without forgetting to have fun! One of which is by going to a FREE dance party at Klyde-Warren Park which is famously known as Decks In The Park.

Last Thursday we went there for the first time with our friends Craig, Tara and their son Israel. We got there at 6, and not many people were there, just some kids running around on the empty lawn.

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We then set up our little picnic space right in the middle of the park, and shortly after, other families, couples, and friends began to arrive to take their spot.

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But of course my little J wanted to play with the splash fountain before we got him to do anything else.

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Meanwhile, Israel was having a good time with his daddy.

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Israel was being silly. Love that kid.

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Fruits, chips, nachos, quesadilla, fried catfish, ice cream - ow yeah!

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I love how this event is kid-friendly! It's just perfect! You get to bring your kids, eat good food, sip some drinks if you want to, bring your dog, and dance to some good music! And the weather was nice too!

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DJ Samma Lone started spinning some funky tunes at 7 and the kids where dancing right in front of him. Some adults too! With hula hoops!

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For some reason, J kept on walking towards the lady in the denim top on the left. She was pretty, and I think J kinda noticed it.

 

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I saw some parents were dancing while babywearing as well, what a genius! I'd do that next time when I have another baby! J's too big for his baby carrier now, plus he couldn't stay still whenever there's music being played.

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Before we left, Mr.Man and I took J to see these freestyle dancers busting up some moves. The sky was getting darker, the stage lights were shining beautifully, and we left with a smile on our faces. Realizing that with this kind of joy, peace, love, and hope that we got in our hearts - we are forever young.