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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: grapevine texas

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!

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

 

Free Things to Do Around Main St. Grapevine (year-round!)

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

If you're drawn to this article by the word 'free', I am on your team. I love finding out about the things that I could get or do for free with my family. It was this love of freebies that lead me into exploring Grapevine's Main Street in the Historic District. I'm so glad that I found these places that I'm going to talk about in this post. If you're in for a stroll around the beautiful historic district with your family without spending that much money, take a note! 1. Exhibitions at The Tower Gallery 

Located at the Glockenspiel Tower right at the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau building, the Tower Gallery hosts a wide variety exhibitions year-round that are mostly free. This month all the way through September 28, you can enjoy the  Picturing Wonderland exhibition which showcases Sir John Tenniel's illustrations that complemented Lewis Carroll's text of Alice in Wonderland.

We learned a lot about the story behind the story of Alice in Wonderland. Didn't know that this classic literature was inspired by Charles Dodgson's (Lewis Carroll's real name) boating trip along the Thames with a girl named Alice Liddell!

And while you're there, you can also visit an exhibition at the Grand Gallery (located in the same building) that goes on through September 18 called the Be the Dinosaur  exhibit.

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Here, you and your little ones get to play state-of-the-art video game technology, view a traditional exhibit  featuring full-size dinosaur bones, a paleontology field station, and play around this awesome Safari Jeep right here. Oh, and the little ones get to wear Dino tails as well! Tickets are $4, get them here.

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And when you step outside the building at noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., you can watch this free daily entertainment of 2 would-be train robbers, Nat and Willy who are discussing their evil plan of robbing $60,000 off the train. Arrive a few minutes early so you can  read the storyboards located in the viewing plaza to learn the history of these two characters.

2. Chocolate Sampling at Dr. Sue's Chocolate

 

This place is one of my must-visit's whenever I go to Grapevine Historic District with my family simply because we get to sample their delicious chocolates for free! Don't expect basic flavors, Dr. Sue's offer a wide variety of unique flavors like Hatch Chile Citrus that is a must-try!

3. Coffee Sampling at The Holy Grounds

 

Not far from Dr. Sue's you can find this gourmet coffee & Christian bookstore called The Holy Groundthat samples coffee daily. You can find gourmet coffee with flavors like Banana Nut Creme Coffee, Apricot Creme Coffee, Amaretto Coffee, and the one we sampled here in the picture, Cinnamon Pecan. Very flavorful, aromatic, the cinnamon is subtle but it blends perfectly with the pecan flavor. I also love that they serve complimentary cookies alongside the coffee, how thoughtful of them! They have jewelries and gifts that you can check out as well.

4. Grapevine Botanical Gardens

Now this is just a bonus, because it's not really located on Main Street, but it's close by and you get to visit it for free.

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If you just want to chill with your family and let your little ones run around for a little while, this is a great pitstop. Beautiful vegetations, fish ponds, walking trails, butterfly sanctuary - this place has got it all!

I hope this article has been helpful, let me know if you know any other place around DFW that has great free activities for families and have a great weekend!

Getting Ready for Christmas, in July

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

Can you believe we're already halfway through the year 2016?  What have you done with the first half of the year? Have you kept your resolutions? (I couldn't even keep my own resolution to do a 21-Day Vegan Challenge back in January lol). But all regrets aside, the month of July has actually got me thinkin' of the most wonderful time of the year!  NPX 6

Yes, Christmas! This stamement might be more relatable to my people down in Australia, who are going through winter at this time of the year, while the rest of us are soaking up the summer heat (oh gosh, it's gonna get to 100 degrees next week!). But hey, we might not be able to celebrate 'Christmas in July' but we could get ready for Christmas this July, by getting tickets to the Grapevine Vintage Railroad's North Pole Express which will go on sale next Tuesday (07/12) !!!

 

Started in 2006, this Christmas tradition has become one of the most beloved events at the Christmas Capital of Texas, Grapevine. Just last year, more than 42,500 guests enjoyed the family-friendly and exciting North Pole Express ride. And, "for 2016, additional excursions have been added so we expect to see an increase in ridership this year," stated the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau Director of Communications, Leigh Lyons. 

Imagine boarding the beautifully decorated Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s Victorian rail coaches to the North Pole, where Elves welcome you and sing you traditional Christmas carols. And then a magical moment : Mrs. Claus boards the train and presents each child a “We Believe” silver Santa bell! 

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And then when you get to Santa's Workshop in the North Pole, you'll get to meet Santa, who'd wish everyone a Merry Christmas, share his Frosty Chocolate Snow Milk, and take a family photo with you and your family (it's complimentary!!).  

It's recommended to arrive 45 minutes prior to the scheduled boarding time and be sure to check out GrapevineTexasUSA.com for more Christmas Capital of Texas activities for your family! 

Tickets sell out very quickly, so get yours ASAP here >> https://tickets.grapevineticketline.com/event/northpole :) 

It's 5 months till Christmas! Can't wait to get and give presents and more importantly, be present for my family. 

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- all photos are owned by Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau