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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: irving texas

Happy Hour, Kind Owner, Conducive Workspace - It's Supreme Coffee!

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

It's Friday y'all! We can all relax a little bit on the thought that weekend is just a day away, or for those of you who work a 9-to-5 job, it's a few hours away! I'd like to share a more light and fun post today about a fairly new coffeeshop in Irving, TX (my hood!) named Supreme Coffee. 

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After reading positive google reviews about this place, I decided to visit it yesterday with J and I have to admit I was kind of impressed. First of all, I applaud the owner Patrick Kiago for picking this location on Belt Line road, because the area had been lacking that cozy space that we can just chill and enjoy our coffees at.

When you walk into the coffeeshop, you can hear some smooth jazz tunes in the background that matches the look and feel of this place : calm, casual, and cozy. I like the fact that they don't try to be too fancy with the decor, but they do just enough for you to feel comfortable when you walk in and stay for hours. And you know what, with the free Wi-Fi offered here, 90% of the customers that I saw yesterday were all working on their laptops!

 

This fulfills the owner's mission as he stated on their website : "We want to give you the ideal location to study, chat with friends, talk business, or just relax from the day-to-day stress."

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I tried the Cheesecake Mocha Frappe (full menu here) and because I came at around 2 pm, I got a 40% discount because of the happy hour! Yes, they have happy hour on weekdays from 2 to 4 pm.

There are also pastries available, I tried the strawberry and white chocolate bread which was delish. I wish I had asked them to heat it up for me though.

My attention was drawn to the patio, where a girl was singing with her ukulele. She turned out to be a performer who is scheduled to perform tonight (Friday night) at 7 pm! I was like, 'wait they have live music too?'

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The highlight of my visit was definitely the friendliness of Patrick, the owner. He didn't know that I was coming to 'review' or to check out the place, but he was super nice, offering a free drink for my kiddo and a discount for me, and all. Kindness just flows out of him naturally regardless of the customer. Just read the google reviews, they all say the same thing about him!

We can all learn to do the same wherever we go today and everyday, right? :)

If you're in the area don't forget to stop by and in the meantime,  check them out on fb and instagram ;) You can also follow Visit Irving for your local guide in the area.

Oh and, the handwoven watch I wore in the cover picture will be available on my sotre this September :) 

Have an awesome weekend y'all!

Why Learning Self-Defense is Every Woman's Responsibility

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

I know what you think. This title might be a little too paranoid. I mean, there are so many bad things that are happening in the world today, but it couldn't be that bad right? Well, as a part-time worker at an anti-human trafficking organization, I can tell you that kidnapping, trafficking, rape, and robbery could happen to anyone at anytime, anywhere. I've heard and read so many stories where women get kidnapped by anyone from  colleagues, distant relatives, to a complete stranger.

It's not about focusing on the fear of the bad people out there, though. It's about focusing on equipping yourself for your future. At least that's what I learned from one of the mothers who took her daughter to a RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) class at Irving Fire & Police Academy back in April.

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"You never know what life throws at you," said Maria who had been coming to the 12-hour class with her teenage daughter, Sarah.

They were not the only mother-daughter team in the room. I saw so many others who came with their nieces and daughters, some even come every year just to refresh their memories.

 

There were about 16 people in the class from all over the DFW metroplex (yes, that's the cool thing about this class, you don't have to live in Irving to join). This class get filled up very quickly every month.I guess the hunger and the need for such training are growing. Self-defense is not just for The Avengers cast or martial arts-enthusiasts, or those who live in a high-risk neighborhood. Because although you can depend on our law enforcement officers to protect us to some extent, you just never know.

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Different ages, different walks of life, same goal - to equip themselves for life. The classes are not all physical though, participants learn the theories at a class setting first before they got to the physical training.

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Check out the gears! You don't have to worry about getting hurt, the trainers are professionals so they know how to prepare you for the bad situations without hurting you. However, you can hit and kick them in return! (They got protective gears on too, so everyone's safe!  ;).

 

It was so empowering just to watch these women defending themselves. They're all everyday women, just like you and me, with no martial arts training background whatsoever. And there they were, kicking, pushing, and defending themselves. This is more empowering than a Beyonce video!

My favorite part was watching these ladies cheering their classmate as she got into a 'combat' with the trainers. "You can do it! Come on! Work around it!," they yelled with excitement.

It's such a beautiful and empowering atmosphere, women supporting and believing in other women. Nobody was too young or too old to fight. Anyone can get up and fight to defend themselves.

This women-only 4-day class takes place every month at the Irving Police & Fire academy for FREE. The minimum age is 10 years old and the class is also available in Spanish! This month's class is full, but be on the lookout for the next one on July 18th!! For more info and registration, click here. 

 

 

Mustangs and Anchor

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

The best thing about this visit? We didn't need to drive for more than 5 minutes. Why? Because the world's biggest equestrian sculpture happens to be The Mustangs of Las Colinas at Williams Square, Las Colinas, Irving, TX - a.k.a my neighbourhood! Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 2.04.51 AM

 

Though many people are aware of this majestic sculpture, not many ever took the time to find out how it was made by going to the Mustangs of Las Colinas Museum. So on a Friday morning last week,  J and I decided to pay a visit and learn more about these 'horses'.

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Oh but first, in case you were wondering, the word equestrian means 'of or relating to horse riding'. Okay now press play to get a glimpse of the museum and Williams Square as narrated by museum guide, Mary Higbie.

https://youtu.be/X2KKWZ3Ocbc

Although it seems 'hidden' inside of one of the tall buildings at Williams Square, the museum has attracted thousands of people from all around the world. I love how they celebrate that diversity by having the push pin and the world map ready! There are a number of sculptures, paintings, and other merchandises sold on site (notice the horse-shaped necklace Mary was wearing? Yeah, that one's sold here too!), you might want to check them out when you come to visit.

And, if pondering upon beautiful sculptures and learning a little bit of history make you hungry, there's a food truck outside called The Anchor Food Truck. Not only do they serve gourmet food 3 to 4 times a week, but ALL of their profits go to help feed the homeless and hungry in Irving!

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Started back in July of 2015, this food truck is run by Karen Phillips Jones and her preacher husband of Irving's Anchor Church. Besides preaching, cooking has always been his passion. No wonder the brisket tacos were delish! I would love to try their Mac Daddy next time!

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"We both saw a need to help the hungry and homeless near our church. Nearly everyday, a homeless or hungry person would stop by the church for food or money. We had an opportunity to get a food truck and it was a perfect fit to help others. We are able to use the profits from selling lunch at Williams Square to feed our friends throughout the week at Centennial Park in downtown Irving. Currently there are 16 homeless people that look forward to our awesome food right off the truck," shared Karen.

What a great way to spread the good news, love, and kindness to people! Follow them on social media to find out their weekly schedules and menu.

So many great things in Irving to discover and look forward to this year! Follow @VisitIrvingTX and me @mozdeb to get updates :)

Have an awesome weekend, friends!

 

Hot Cocoa Hopping Around Irving

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

It's 2 days before Christmas Day! What? In the midst of all the busy-ness the holidays bring, I took some time to go hot cocoa hopping with my friend Roselle from InDFW last week. Although it's not that cold yet here in North Texas, there's something about this time of year that makes me want to just snuggle and drink hot cocoa all day. I like it with a little bit of a bitter aftertaste, with a touch of fluffy sweetness from the marshmallows or whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Mm...I can almost mentally smell it right now!  

Since we both live in Irving, we decided to visit 3 of the most popular coffeeshouses in the city. To watch the full experience, watch the video below :)

 

https://youtu.be/R4Zh8HmfM4I

 

Java me Up

I have blogged about this place for about 3 times now. I just love the convenience of it being at the Valley Ranch Library. And the hot cocoa turned out to be delicious!

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Love the fact that they offer diary alternatives like almond and even coconut milk. My favorite though, is the housemade cranberry bread. Not too sweet, in fact it's quite tart but I like it! The owner was nice enough to give J and Ezra some sugar cookies as well. Read the full story on Roselle's blog.

 

Argentina Bakery

I love this place simply because they offer different kinds of sweets and pastries to have with your coffee here. The chicken empanadas are good, but my favorite is the plain Tortitas. Not tortillas, tortitas. It's an Argentinian bread that you dip in your coffee, or in this case, we dipped it in our hot cocoa.

argentina1

I like that they are generous with their portion, and the sweetness of the hot cocoa is just right. However, if you'd like a taste of coffee in your hot cocoa, go for the Mayan Mocha.

   It's fragrant, sweet, chocolate-y yet it still gives you that caffeine kick.

 

Joe's 

This place is one of those classic, neighbourhood diners that everybody goes to. They serve waffles, pancakes, burger baskets, and PIES. Lots of 'em!

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We tried the lemon pie. I liked the taste, tangy and sweet at the same time. 

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I love the hot cocoa too! Classic and simple, nothing crazy added. Just the good 'ol hot cocoa and whipped cream.

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To me it was the right size, considering it was my 3rd glass ;) Next time, I should definitely try the Chocolate Pie.

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The price is affordable,  staff was friendly and they also gave us their 2016 calendar.

 

To find out more about the city Irving, follow them here. And if you liked the video, don't forget subscribe :) Have a wonderful Christmas!

 

 

Library-Hopping Around Irving

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

The older the kiddo, the busier the momma. I can't believe I use think that the newborn phase was the craziest! When I look back now, I realize that newborns are probably the easiest to handle. Why? Because they sleep all the time! All you need to do is nurse them, put them in your baby-carrier, and they'd fall right back to a deep sleep. But toddlers? Dang! You gotta teach them stuff, take them to parks, run around with them, I'm talking about actual mothering here! :p Oh well, that's what we're called to do right when we signed up for this right? So yeah, I am always looking for something to do with J outside our apartment nowadays, so he could be positively stimulated, taught, and entertained. And what better place to do that at than a library, right?  

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Last Monday, I decided to do a little library-hopping with my friend Roselle of the blog, InDFWto gather information about our local libraries here in Irving. Oh FYI, she lives only like 1 minute away from my apartment. So it was perfect! We carpooled and headed first to my favourite, Valley Ranch Library.

 

Valley Ranch Library

I personally love this library because it's connected to a coffee shop called Java Me Up. It actually has a little window through which you can order your coffee and pastry straight from the library's children area. How convenient!

 

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I also like the natural light and the beautiful view of the canal at children's reading corner.

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If you can recall, I have posted an article about their toddler storytime called 1, 2 Me & You a few months ago. We love it, because of the bubbles at the end! J also likes to pretend that he knows how to use a pc around here.

 

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Silly J (Peppa Pig's voice). For more info and photos of Valley Ranch Library, check out this blogpost on InDFW blog!

 

West Irving Library

This was my first time here. I had no idea that there was an energy-efficient, solar-powered library in Irving! Opened in April 2011, West Irving Library is the 2nd newest library in Irving with the biggest PC lab in the city.

 

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The following is a picture of the parking lot roof that is actually made of solar panels.

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Yup, they are serious about energy conservation here. "With net-zero energy solution, this library actually puts energy back on the grid," explained Director Chris Dobson, who happened to be at the checkout counter when we visited the library.

 

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The L.E.E.D-certified library might be smaller than the Valley Ranch one, but it's gorgeous! Especially the patio!

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I also like the toys that kids can play with for free.

 

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And this little lab here is also a plus for me.

They also have Mother Goose storytimes on Wednesdays (10.30 a.m.) and Family storytimes on Thursdays (7 p.m.) / Fridays (11 a.m.) held at a gorgeous round-shaped, theater-style room. Definitely worth checking out!

 

Next stop, the newest library in town!

 

South Irving Library

I can't believe this is the closest library to my apartment and yet, I haven't been here before! According to Dobson, the same architecht who designed West Irving Library is the same architect who designed this one. No wonder it has a similar look and feel! Gorgeous too!

 

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From the time you walk into this library, you could see how modern it is. It looks like a hotel almost!

 

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We went straight to the second floor to check out the Kid Zone.

 

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See the right corner with colourful pillows laid on its floor there? That's a little reading corner for you and your kiddos! And that pink-ish wall you see in the middle? Walk a little closer to see a beautiful puzzle-shaped wall that changes color.

 

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Beautiful. J and Ezra loved it.

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Leggo station, sensory play, PC station...

 

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and... touch screen TV!

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Not to mention the view to the street and the Millennium Fountain.

 

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Absolutely in love with this library. I'm interested in checking out their Play & Learn storytime (in partnership with YMCA) on Mondays (10.30 a.m.), Pre-school storytime on Tuesdays (10.30 a.m.), and Toddler storytime on Wednesdays (10.30 a.m.). If you're not able to make it in the morning, check out their Family storytime on Thursdays (7 p.m.).

 

For more info about libraries in Irving, follow them on instagram @irvinglibrary.

 

In between the library-hopping, we talked, stopped by chick-fil-a, and laughed together. I am grateful for this new friendship I have with the Roselle and her family. And I'm grateful for this beautiful city we live in!

 

Blue Bell's Homecoming at Big State, Irving

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

Having lived in the Las Colinas-part of Irving for 1.5 year now, I had never really been to what they call the 'downtown Irving' area until just yesterday. The only time I went to this part of the city last year was to pay for my speeding ticket at the Municipal Court (yeah, I know, I'm not proud of it haha), so I didn't know that there were more than just courts and malls pass the 183 highway! Oh my gosh, how could I miss it!  

So what brought me to the area yesterday? The return of Blue Bell Ice Cream to North Texas. I was invited by a friend of mine from Visit Irving to attend a little celebration of the ice cream's come back at the legendary Big State Fountain Grill. They were going to give away free scoops of blue bell ice cream from 1 to 3 p.m. , so of course I said yes to the invitation.

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One of the oldest joints in the area, this place used to be a clothing store and then turned into a drug store, and now a restaurant.

 

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It's very colourful and bright, with a vibrant and retro vibe that I like. Very family-friendly, in fact the waiters treat us like family here.

 

Big State 1

 

I am glad that I decided to have lunch here before getting in line for my free scoops of Blue Bell. Look at those pretty tiles!

 

Big State 3

 

So why is Blue Bell such a big deal, here in Texas? I might never fully understand that, because I'm not from here. But I can tell you that it's more than just ice cream here. It's like a tradition. I remember trying Blue Bell for the first time at a friend's house when we first got here, and they told us that "It's a Texan thing, you just have try it!". So we did, and we liked the Dutch Chocolate and Cookies n Cream!

 

Anyhow, a few months ago, Blue Bell issued a recall due to listeria found in some of their products (read here). It was the first recall they've done in 108 years! Yesterday, thankfully, they have managed to make a come back in North Texas, with better and improved products of course.

 

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I invited a friend of mine, a fellow mom-blogger, Roselle to join us. Her son, Ezra couldn't wait any longer! He wanted his ice cream a.s.a.p.! Oh, I feel you, Ezra.

 

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It was still 12.30, and the ice cream was not going to be served until 1. So, a grilled cheese wouldn't hurt, would it? :) The housemade fries were also delicious!

 

A few minutes later, people started lining up. Oh, it's time!

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Yasssgimme gimme gimme!

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Sonja and Jay, a lovely couple I just met yesterday, savoring the Dutch Chocolate and the Buttered Pecan ice cream. They're the nicest people! Recommending me on what and where to eat around the area, and telling me how amazed they were at the fact that I was carrying J with my Boba baby-carrier. "We didn't have that back in my day. That looks hard to me!," Sonja said.

 

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The next 2 hours were filled with media people taking photos and recording videos around the store. The news coverage was aired on NBC 5 yesterday. The journalist, Eric King, had actually talked to a elderly couple who took a day off from work, just to have some Blue Bell scoops at Big State yesterday! What a devoted love they have for the ice cream!

 

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More than just the ice cream, my little one was interested at the Jukebox. Something that his generation might not even know if it wasn't for retro places like Big State.

 

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So, my little one took a 50-minute nap, had 2 scoops of ice cream, and discovered a jukebox,while I had 3 scoops of ice cream, a cheeseburger with housemade fries, and a great chit-chat with my mommy friend. Ah, what a good day. Welcome back, Blue Bell! Can't wait to pick you up on my next grocery shopping ;)

 

 

Around Irving (with a Toddler) On Under $30

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

As much as I love downtown Dallas with its arts district, North Park with its shopping centers, and Lower Greenville with its hip-ness, I love Irving. I have to, it's my 'hood'! If I don't like where I live, how am I going to live at all? ;) Those who think that you always have to go to 'popular' neighborhoods to have fun are definitely wrong, not effective with their time, and probably spending too much money on gas and parking tickets (ugh, thanks downtown Dallas haha).  

Some days, I could just wake up early, take a shower, pack our lunch, and drive to gorgeous and cool places with J. But some other days, I just want to go to a place within my zip code without taking a shower. You know what I'm talking about, mothers. Sometimes you're in such a rush that you don't even have time to make breakfast and all that!

 

Now I love to go out with J, but I'm also on a budget here. I can't just go out everyday and eat out. So I'd like to keep the expenses of our activities next to nothing or even FREE and our meals at a total of less than $30. And in Irving, it's not that hard to do so!

Don't believe me? Just watch! *Bruno Mars voice

 

08.00 a.m. - BREAKFAST

JavaMe Up

Why do I love this place? Mainly because it's connected to the Irving Valley Ranch Library. It's a perfect place for me to get some breakfast or coffee/tea before taking J to a FREE storytime at the library.

 

They serve organic coffee and offer dairy alternatives like almond milk (yeay!). They also serve gluten-free brownies & cupcakes, mini macarons, and oatmeal.

 

 

My favorite is their breakfast specials, starting at $3.75 to $5.75 (bagels, sausage, croissant, etc)

 

Spacious with indoor and outdoor area. Simply cozy.

 

 

This is our favorite corner because they provide board games, magazines, and novels that you can use or read for FREE!

 

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Hey, a mom's gotta eat.

 

 

You can get in through the main entrance or....

 

 

through an entrance at the library foyer.

 

*COST : bagels with cream cheese + caramel macchiato (small, no whip) + gf brownie = $11.52

 

**

10.00 a.m. - ACTIVITY

"1,2 ,Me & You" Storytime (1-2 yrs)

The storytimes at Valley Ranch Library are held on Mondays (for infants), Wednesdays, and Fridays (for 1-2 yrs). The one we go to is the Friday one.

The storytime starts at 10 .30 a.m but you gotta be here early to get a ticket (one for each person, and they run out pretty quickly!). We usually get there before 10.    The library is nice and quiet in the morning. Photos of the storytime could be found in my previous post here. They do a lot of singing, a lot of bubble-blowing, and a good amount of reading. It lasts for 30 minutes.

*COST : FREE

**

 11.30 a.m. - LUNCH

 LA Burger

They serve classic American comfort food with a Korean twist (or as they put it, "with Seoul" haha). Burgers with bulgogi instead of beef patties, asian-style tacos, and my favorite, K-Fries.

A friend of ours introduced this place to us, and he told us about the secret menu : Koreano!

 

No, no you won't find it on the Menu board, but trust me, they have it. Just ask for it.

 

*COST : koreano + k-fries + water = $13.00

* TOTAL SPENDING : $24.52

**

Now by the time we finish our burgers, J would want to go home and take a nap, so I usually end my 'adventure' here. Plus, Mr. Man usually goes home at 5 and he'd expect dinner to be ready by then.

 

But! If your kiddo still has some energy left, take him to these following places!

 

2 p.m. - AFTERNOON ACTIVITY

The Tube

Because the summer heat is getting crazier, an indoor playground called The Tube at Irving Bible Church might be the best place to take your kiddo. It is FREE!

Or, when it gets cooler, you can definitely go to...

 

Victoria Park

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It's got a playground with slides and swings (pretty standard, but hey it's free, and it's bigger than Mustang Park) plus a lot of trees and a pond. I love it here, but not during summer.

*COST : FREE

**

If you want to get some afternoon snacks, we've got our favorite empanaderia to recommend to you!

 

3 p.m. - AFTERNOON SNACK

Empa Mundo

Though with a modest interior and decor, Empa Mundo has remained "The Best of Irving" on Yelp for 4 years straight with its high quality empanadas. Serving menus like Criolla (beef, olive, raisins, and eggs), Cheesesteak, Brisket, and my favorite, GUAVA AND CHEESE, this family-owned business keeps people coming back for more even with its recent No-AC situation.

 

With her broken English, the owner Mrs. Miming is always eager to make you feel welcomed. She would say "Welcome, my friend! Have you been here before?" every time a person walks in. And most of the time, she would recognize the customer. She'd be like "Hey! welcome back!" :)

 

 

To our surprise though, she is actually an Indonesian too! How did she get so good at making empanadas? Well her husband is an Argentinian so she might have learned it from some family recipe.

Anyway, she treats me like her daughter , always taking the time to talk to us and giving J free empanadas and cookies without hesitation.Oh! We love her!

*COST : guava & cheese + criolla  = $5.4

* TOTAL SPENDING : $24.52 + $5.4 = $29.92

 

Still got more energy? Oh, please go home. Bathe your kiddo and make dinner. You got plenty of time to explore Irving tomorrow. If you want more info on what's happening in Irving, click here!