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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: dallas influencer

Bringing Good Cheer, #BigDHoliday is Here!

Debora Manusama

Some of the most fun things to do this holiday season in Dallas, with your family. GIVEAWAY for a stay at the Hilton Anatole and more. Click, read, comment, and share!

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Awesome Waterfront Fun at Grand Prairie's Joe Pool Lake

Debora Manusama

From eating seafood to kayaking, there are so many fun things to do in Grand Prairie's Joe Pool Lake! 

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NatGeo Photo Ark, Hippo Outpost - What's New at the Dallas Zoo!

Debora Manusama

The largest zooligical park in Texas and one of USA Today's 10 Best Zoos in America  is actually located in none other than our very own city of Dallas!! Have you been there recently? Pay a visit, snap a pic, and you might even win awesome prizes!

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Win BIG by Sharing Your Big D Moments!

Debora Manusama

VisitDallas is launching a campaign designed to inspire locals from all over North Texas to rediscover Dallas. WIN BIG Prizes including a night stay at the Ritz-Carlton and tickets to Justin Bieber by sharing unique images with the hashtag #DallasBIGMoments via Instagram from May 8 – May 31.

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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!

 

Pairing Fine Texas Wines & Cheeses at Cross Timbers Winery

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

Labor Day weekend has passed and summer is officially over but the excitement continues in the City of Grapevine! As you might have read in my previous post, the ultimate wine experience, GrapeFest, is coming next week from September 15th through the 18th and you and your family are invited! To celebrate, I got a little bit of a head start last week when I went to sample an array of exquisite local wine & cheese selections at Cross Timbers Winery.

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Located in the Historic Brock Family farm house, Cross Timbers Winery  now serves as a popular venue for weddings, receptions, parties and other special occasions. Providing 'wine tasting with wine education', the winery's tasting room is open for public from Tuesday to Sunday (see complete schedule here), with a wide variety of wine to choose from including reds, whites, single varietals, and blends.

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For this particular evening, I got to taste the Cross Timbers Muscat Canelli, Cross Timbers Chardonnay, Cross Timbers Sangiovese, and Cross Timbers Tempranillo.

We paired the wines with the delicious cheeses from Dallas' very own, Mozzarella Company . Owner Paula Lambert hosted this session, as she guided us through each pairing.

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Lambert fell in love with fresh mozzarellas when she was on an extended visit to Perugia, Italy. Due to the absence of such delicacy back home in Texas, she decided to bring the art of cheesemaking home with her. Her factory has been making fresh, award-winning cheeses by hand now for 34 years!

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We sampled Queso Blanco with Chiles and Epazote, Smoked Seamorza, Montasio Festivo, and Caciotta Black Pepper and Garlic (a lot of people's favorite that evening!).

My favorite combo was definitely the Cross Timbers Chardonnay with Smoked Scamorza! I loved the smokiness of the smooth, hand-formed cheese (they were smoked over pecan shells!) paired with the light-bodied Chardonnay.

But there was a wild card pairing! And it turned out to be my ultimate favorite!

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Cross Timbers Sparkling Wine with Cella and Rosemary Montasio! I loved the Cella cheese best! It is a mixture of cow's and goat's milk, with a subtle citrus flavor from lemongrass. Excellent, excellent flavor. I couldn't get enough of it!

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Some of the lovely ladies I met at the event include (left to right) Julia Sizemore (GrapeFest volunteer), Paula Lambert (Mozzarella Company), Carolyn Lease (event organizer), and Sharon Kircher (with Bank of the West, the presenting sponsor of GrapeFest).

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And the lovely lady on the far right on the picture above is Penny Bigbie, owner of Cross Timbers Winery.

Kimberly Foster from Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau was kind enough to get me a cookbook from Paula Lambert (signed!!) called Cheese, Glorious Cheese and this sweet encounter between the two of them in the photos below wrapped up my beautiful evening at Cross Timbers!

This is just a glimpse of the ultimate wine experience that The 30th Annual GrapeFest has got to offer next week! I can not wait to see y'all there! If you haven't already, get your tickets here

 

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!

A Taste of France in the Heart of Grapevine

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

The beauty about being a foodie, a.k.a someone who loves food and is open to trying many different kinds of food (mostly gourmet), is that you get to travel the world without having to leave town. Finding different types of foreign cuisines is not that difficult these days, especially if you live in a big city. Last weekend, our 'destination' of choice was France, and we're so thrilled that we got to savor some delicious French-American dishes at Chez Fabien at the Main St. Bakery on Main Street, Grapevine.

We usually come here for breakfast on the weekends because we love the pastries like the Dessert Trio, Almond Croissant, and the giant macarons.  Or when we're in the mood for something more filling, we'd go for Le Parisien, Chocolate Chip pancakes, and Belgian Waffles.  

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This time however, we're going for the dinner menu! So I dressed up a little bit to welcome the weekend and the fact that I got to be off duty for a little while (what up clutch bag reference! hehe). Well not really. I am never off duty ;)

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We were greeted by a friendly staff who took us straight to this cute spot by the Le Place des Bisous sign, which means the place of kisses. Aaww...

Kisses aside, we were hungry, so it was time for us to order some appetizers. The bread basket had this creamy butter with scallion in it that I loved, and the escargot were buttery and flavorful, we couldn't help but to ask our server to not clear the plates yet so we could dip the bread in the remaining melted butter, garlic, thyme and all of those herbs!

J had just woke up from his long nap so he was a bit cranky. And by a bit I meant crazy cranky lol. The manager Pauline was very understanding though. We immediately ordered him some Grilled Salmon and Fries. What? Yes, they have good menus for kids, not just some basic mac n cheese or pb & j. And check out that old school entertainment! Etch the Sketch! But of course, being born at 2013, J thought it was an iPad.

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I asked our server Casey to surprise me and he ordered me the Lemon Thyme Roasted Chicken. The chicken fell off the bone, you can taste the herbs all the way to the bone, and the purple baby carrots added just the right crunch to the whole dish.

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I paired it with their summer cocktail Concombre Bouquet which balanced the whole dish with its fruity, fresh taste. Mr.Man went with Pinot Grigio out of the 60 wine selections that they offer.

This is how I eat every day by the way. With a toddler boy holding my neck and jumping up and down around me lol.

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Mr. Man had the Friday night special which was the Bouillabaisse, a seafood stew that's originated from the port city of Marseille with ingredients like garlic, tomatoes, fennel, fish, and shellfish. Here at Chez Fabien, they add their own spin to it though by adding King Crab. The broth was on point, I would highly recommend you to try this dish instead of the more Americanized selections, although they do serve burgers :)

What added a more oomph to the whole French vibe going on here was the live performance by Isabel Crespo (she performed La Vien Rose!). If you can't make it here on Friday nights, there's also live music on Thursday and Saturday from 7 pm to 10 pm. That awesome sparkler birthday candle on the left is just what the bistro usually does for customers who are celebrating their birthdays. That's lit!

As a happy ending to our lovely evening, we savored some Banana Nutella Crepe and Bistro Bread Pudding. They are so generous with nutella on their crepes so if you love nutella like I do, you should order the crepes! The bread pudding is always available from breakfast to dinner, it's got the chewy texture that I like, and it comes with lots of peanuts! Yum! If you're allergic, make sure you let them know :)

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Over all, it was a sweet family nightout accompanied by sweet acoustic live music, delicious French dishes, and some craft cocktails (they make their own syrup and juices here!). The best thing was we didn't have to travel very far.  Can't wait to go back here :)

If you're coming to GrapeFest this September, Main St. Bakery will have a booth open outside the bakery/bistro serving their famous Croi-Dough and also sandwiches!