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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: love


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.



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. 


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!


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.



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 :) 

Dinner with a Side of Murder

Debora Manusama-Sinaga


Mr. Man and I don't go out on dates that often. Actually in 3 years of marriage, we've only been to 3. It's not that we're too busy for it, we just don't see it as a necessity. We're cool with just watching netflix at home and eating our favorite food after J is asleep. We've seriously just been that low-key in the last few years. Plus we live so far away from our families, so we don't really have anyone to take care of J when we're gone. And to hire a babysitter would cost money. However, this year, thankfully we've been able to afford some babysitters every once in a while. So last Friday, we decided to go to Murder Mystery Dinner in Dallas, to have dinner with a side of murder!


Instead of the basic dinner or movies for a datenight, going to a Murder Mystery Dinner is a fun way to spend a night with your partner or friends (I personally think it'd be more fun to come with like a group of 6) with delicious 3-course meal while solving a murder case to together as a team! Basically, if you like the gameboard, Clue, you would love this show!


What I love about the Murder Mystery Dinner is the fact that it has different themes like a murder at a wedding, a murder at a masquerade, etc. The one we came to was a murder at a 50s prom called "A Dance with Death". So a lot of people came dressed up in puffy polka-dot dresses and leather jackets.


You will be given this 'Rules of Mystery' card on your table, so you'll know what to do with your teammates. Your teammates are the people who sit at the same table you're at. If you don't have a binder on your table, that means you can pick a name for your team. Ours was The Screw-Ups, before we were all late. We came at 7.15 pm! It's best to arrive 30 minutes early (6.30 pm), because the entertainment starts then. Who knows, you might get a chance to be a part of the show!


At around 7.30, after a brief explanation on how the event works and after a 'murder' happened (seriously, a guy suddenly screamed and 'died' at the back of the room, right before we started eating dinner), we got to eat a buffet-style dinner. This is a great time for you to discuss your strategy to solve the case with your teammates.


The chocolate pecan pies were BOMB!


I loved the braised beef! The chicken was good too especially with that gravy! They also have a bar at the back where you can get wine, liquor, and beer.

Next! It was time for us to start spending some money!


Not just any money but the money they company has put on the table for us to spend bribing the suspects (the actors with name tags on, they usually walk around the room as you eat dinner, so it's not that hard to spot them).


We split the team into 3 groups, and each group was assigned a suspect to bribe and interrogate. Mr. Man and I, and 4 other people bribed this guy in the picture, who turned out to be the killer!

But the fun didn't stop there...


Another murder. Whaat?!! It got confusing and interesting at the same time, but our team ended up guessing the right killer. We wrote the name of the suspect and his motif in a piece of paper provided by the company and submitted it to the detective. However, our explanation was not thorough enough, so we didn't win. The table next to us got it and they received a certificate to commemorate their victory. But hey, guessing the right killer was good enough for us!


It was fun spending 2.5 hour dining and solving a crime with this dude. I would like to do it again with friends next time, and maybe dress up too!

If you want to experience this dinner with a side of murder, get your tickets HERE, they have 5,000 shows/year all across America so I'm sure you can get tickets no matter where you are in the country. And they also do private events :)


*in partnership with Murder Mystery Co. 


A Little Pre-Valentine's Day Family Staycation

Debora Manusama-Sinaga


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


Fighting Human Trafficking with One Soap at a Time

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

Back in April, I joined hundreds of other participants to run the 5K-Race 2 Rescue-Color Run that was filled with fun, music, and sweat. It was my first 5K, first Color Run, and first time ever doing anything to the cause I had been wanting to support for a long time, the fight against human trafficking. When the race was over, I felt moved to do something more. So I applied for a volunteering position at Rescue Her.  



Why did I want to do this? Why did I care?


Growing up in a Southeast-Asian country, human trafficking has always been a familiar subject to me. Moreover, in my younger years, I was friends with people who took advantage of prostituted women. It all seemed so normal to them, so casual, and so harmless. But deep down, I knew better. I might have never been a prostitute, but I've got to a point where I devalued myself way below my true worth in my younger years. I thank God that my future is not determined by my past, and now whenever I look back to those years, I feel the urge to tell younger women that they are worth it. That they are more valuable than they think or they are told they are. That they don't need affirmation from guys to know that they're beautiful.




What's sad is the fact that high-profile pop singers are promoting this self-devaluing with lyrics like "You (men) can have it anyway you like it, anywhere you like it" in chart-topping songs kids sing along to these days. Even top divas like Beyonce encourages girls to base their self-esteem on how good they are in bed and how much money they can make. What a deadly combination ! I did what I did out of choice, out of the desire to be wanted. But those young girls that are being trafficked? They are forced to do way crazier things than what I did, with guys they don't even know and like, by fear and often addiction to drugs that are introduced to them by the pimps. Many also do it for the money, and over time, they will grow numb and they will end up saying that they do this because they want to.


Can something be done about it? Sure! And it might just start with a soap and a sticker.




After waiting for a few months, I finally got the opportunity to volunteer for Rescue Her last Friday night. I started by showing up 6 p.m. for a briefing with the founders, Brad & Josie Carignan.




I was relieved to know that most of the people who showed up were first-time volunteers too. We were told that we were to give away handmade soaps with stickers on them that have got National Human Trafficking Hotline written on them to motels in low-income areas. Why? Because human trafficking-related activities and transactions usually happen there. We also brought cookies to the motel owner/managers, because all we want to do is connect with them and cookies help building the bridge!


Before we left, Brad reminded us that pimps and dealers are usually armed, so...we gotta be careful. We left our stuff at the office, carrying only our phones and driver's licenses. That's why I didn't take that many photos, I didn't know if it was safe enough. Maybe next time I'll take better photos :) We were also told to pray short prayers with our eyes open, whenever somebody asked us to pray for them. And, if our 'watcher', who stood by the car, called us to get back to the car, we must drop everything we're doing and get back immediately. I was like, wow, this is for real. I have only seen such images of American pimps and dealers in movies. Never seen them for real, so I was kinda excited! We split into 2 groups and carpooled to the motels.




I took the following photo from inside the car. It was the first motel we went to. It was not scary when we first got here because the sun was still up, but it got pretty scary after the sun went down ( we spotted a car that looked suspicious stopping in front of a room, a guy approaching our car and all). However, the owner was very receptive towards the idea of putting the soaps in the bathrooms, he asked for like 20 soaps!




Of course not every motel owner liked the idea. So we got some 'No's' too. But I learned a lot from this experience, especially through how the Rescue Her founder, Josie interacted with the people she met in the motels. She was very compassionate towards them. There was no fear, no judgement, just love. And that's how I think we oughta look at people, no matter who they are and what they do. And no matter what they think of us!

Now, we were encouraged to ask people if they needed us to pray for them, but not everyone said yes. There was this guy who actually said "No. I got enough problems. I've tried that before." He might have been disappointed by Christians who didn't show him love in the past, or life might have been so tough on him, I don't know. All I know is that he is loved too, and we just gotta keep him in our prayers.




We went to a few other sketchy motels, and we were able to give away 250 soaps in total! A few motel owners also put the stickers on their check-in window rightaway! It was quite a successful night. We did pray for some people and all motel owners got cookies (even the vegan ones)! We finally wrapped up at 9.30 p.m. and Mr.Man + J picked me up at the Rescue Her office promptly.


I was tired, but very happy, knowing that what I just did might one day help a young girl who is stuck in a motel room, abused and helpless.


There's something so fulfilling about doing something for others. I guess that's because it's what we're meant to do. After all, this life is too short to live it just for me.



If you know or see or are a young girl who is being prostituted, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline : 1 (888) 373-7888  or Text "HELP" or "INFO" to 233733.