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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: tourism

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?  



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!




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



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.




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.




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


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.






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



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




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!





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.





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.






Beautiful. J and Ezra loved it.

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Leggo station, sensory play, PC station...




and... touch screen TV!




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




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!


Longhorns, Cowboys, and Ice Cream 

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

It's been a little over a year since we moved to Texas, but we had never seen a real cowboy or a real Texas Longhorn until a few days ago on the Labor Day Weekend. We didn't have anywhere else to go to, didn't really feel like going to downtown Dallas either, so we decided to play tourist and visit Fort Worth Stock Yards.

As soon as we drove pass North Main Street and East Exchange Avenue, it was like we were in a different time. We got to see how Texas would look like in the old days. Saloons, bars, and...cowboys. Real cowboys!

We got there just in time for the longhorn cattle drive, which happens twice daily (11.30 a.m. and 4 p.m.). That animal is huge! Wow!


You can take pictures with them too, but I think you'd have to pay for it. I didn't feel comfortable sitting on a huge cow, so I passed that and went to the visitors center instead to get a map and this badge. J loves it.


I found this thing in front of the visitors center interesting because the 4th city they have up here is a city in Indonesia! Didn't know Bandung was Fort Worth's sister city!

We then went to the indoor dining and shopping complex called Stockyards Station to catch a gunfighter show at 11.45 a.m.

It was entertaining and loud! And J was getting sleepy, so we had to feed him before he fell asleep. We decided to try the famous BBQ joint, Riscky's.

I had the BBQ ribs platter with Texas Toast, Green Beans, and Pickles. The ribs were smoky and flavorful, but! They were too dry and therefore stiff! Mr. Man had the BBQ Shrimp and it was probably the best thing to eat here. The briskets are also good and tender. Read the full review on my Tomato here. 

I love that they have the "God Bless Texas" written almost everywhere.

And I love the fact that this dude right here was going to have a Monday off, and that we got to stroll around together till J fell asleep. You know what happens when J sleeps right? Yes. Ice cream!!

As I wrote on my previous post about Fort Worth, I love MELT ice creams. Their flavors are so unique and vegan-friendly. Not that I'm a vegan, but I always try to eat less dairy. So this place is perfect! I had the Boozy Buccaneer which is made of pineapple jam and cinnamon-caramel rum. So sweet and summery! A perfect way to 'end' summer (even though the weather will not cool down until Halloween, here in Texas).

30 minutes after Mr. Man and I had enjoyed our ice creams in the car, J woke up. So I decided to get him a scoop of Planet of the Grapes : a vegan sorbet made of dark grapes and mint. So yummy and refreshing, we had to fight over it a little bit.

He won of course, I let him.