Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

25 May 2017

Surviving A Texan Summer - No Sweat!



This post is sponsored by RaceTrac but all thoughts and opinions are my own!









I cannot believe how spoiled we've been in Dallas in 2017 so far. The winter was mild, and so far, the Spring has been super pleasant. Last weekend it was 75 degrees with a lovely breeze -- IN MAY! I couldn't believe it! 

Sweltering Summer and triple digit temps are coming though. Summer in Texas makes me wonder why I decided to come to Dallas in the first place. Ok, not really, but you I can't function outdoors. I pretty much give up on my appearance - ditching any kind of face makeup and the hair goes straight into a curly pony tail. Don't even think about asking me to put on a pair of jeans. They feel more like leg torture chambers. I feel claustraphobic in about 10 seconds and I turn into Miranda from that episode of Sex and the City when she tries on tacky wedding dresses as a joke. GET IT OFF ME GET IT OFF ME!!! 

It is just SOOO HOT! The (melting) icing on the cake is that everyone reminds you how hot it is every two seconds. Full conversations are rarely had outside in Texas in the Summer, everyone just resorts to pointing out the heat over and over. 

"It's hot" 
"Wow, it's so hot out here"
"I'm melting" 

No kidding, NANCY, it's Texas in July, what do you expect?? 
I digress. 

Maybe when I reach the 10 year Texan resident mark, I'll be able to hang with the rest of the Texans, but for now I just totally give up from mid-June through the end of September. Shoutout to the Ford dealer who convinced me I needed a remote start car if I wanted leather seats. YOU DA REAL MVP.






With triple digits looming, it's perfect timing that I kick off my season long partnership with RaceTrac!

Let me fill you in a little bit about their Summer promotion called Sodapalooza, which only comes around once per year. Starting May 3, head over to any RaceTrac to purchase a 2017 Sodapalooza cup. The limited-time-only cups are available at any RaceTrac location for just $11.99 and get you FREE refills of fountain and frozen beverages through July 31. Plus, when you download the RaceTrac Rewards app on any iOS or Android phone, you get an extra $2 off!

Here's the thing though, the cups are starting to sell out already. I got mine from the RaceTrac right off 635 in Irving and they still had some left. You'll see them at a stand near the register, like this one.




Your cups also come filled with coupons valued over $60. My cup had a coupon to the Dallas Zoo which I'm super pumped about! Anytime I go to the Zoo I beeline straight to the Giraffe section where you can actually FEED THEM!!! I die every time.

For more information on Sodapalooza and other RaceTrac initiatives, follow RaceTrac on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and visit RaceTrac.com to become a RaceTrac Insider and get Sodapalooza news straight to your inbox, as well as giveaways and coupons throughout the year. 


22 May 2017

Wine Down After A Day On The Links




Golf is a game that is near and dear to my heart. Although I played about a million sports, and my Dad was always my coach, golf is the one game that we really bonded over. As a kid, I never truly appreciated the game of golf. I certainly didn't appreciate the talent I had. Looking back, I kick myself for not pursuing and practicing the sport. I might have had a pretty decent chance at playing in college. 

I'll never forget my second shot, on my very first round of golf. We were playing a par three course, and aside from a few swings on the driving range, I'd never played golf before. My first shot off the tee box went about 10 feet. On my second shot, I got up there, whacked at the ball from way back in the fairway and it literally went in the hole. My second shot ever was a birdie, that I drained from 100 yards away. 

I looked at my parents and was like, "What, like it's hard?" JK, I didn't quote Legally Blonde, that movie hadn't even been released yet. For the record, it all went downhill from there, but that was still a really fun way to kick off my golf career. 

Today, CB and I play together. He wants to "help" my game by completely changing everything about my swing, all the way down to the grip on the club. I know he is trying to help, just like my Dad would have been all those years ago. 

My thought though? If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Also, not to brag but also to go ahead and brag, I beat CB on our last round of golf sooooo..........

Another reason I love golf is because I adore any sport that ends with wine or beer rather than a sports drink and orange slices. Although some people drink on the course, that has never been me and will never be me. I'd prefer to save my wine for afterwards, when I can really sit down and enjoy the glass in full!


Plus, then I can sit and hang out with my main squeeze!














Gran Reserva is the perfect wine for golfers. Why do I say that? Well, included on the bottle is a $25 credit on a round of golf at major golf courses nationwide courtesy of Concha y Toro Gran Reserva. Find a specially marked bottle necker where you buy wine. And you can also enter a great sweepstakes to win – one year of free golf.

Be sure to check out the Tee Time Sweepstakes for more details!

CB and I have already made plans to redeem our $25 credit and play together this upcoming weekend!

Do you guys play golf? Leave a comment and tell me about a golf memory you have!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

18 May 2017

Howdy, I'm Sarah || Get To Know Me Better

I almost never do "get to know you" posts which is pretty dumb because I'm fairly certain you guys all haven't been following along with me since I started blogging in February of 2013. That was a long dang time ago! 


Let's get some basics out of the way. 

Who is CB and why do you call him CB? 
Drew, my fiancΓ©, is better known on this blog as CB - short for Chalupa Batman. If you watch the show the league, you'll know where I came up with that very random nickname. 

When we first started dating (it'll be 3 years on the 30th of this month) he was pretty apprehensive about appearing on my blog. He had never really heard of a blog and didn't know what topics were even discussed on this blog. 

He owns his own business, and didn't want his employees being able to track his social life down online. The man doesn't have facebook/instagram/any kind of online presence. 

I can respect that.

Well, that was until he began reading my blog and telling every last employee he had about the blog and how they should be reading - yada yada yada. I'm pretty sure some of his employees might even call him CB now. 

The day he proposed to me, he had all of our friends there videoing and photographing the entire thing. After the shock wore off that we were FINALLY engaged, I yell, "WAIT - what am I even supposed to do with all these photos and all this video that was recorded?" 

He then said I could post it and I lost my shit. I think I screamed louder for that news than I did when I realized he was getting down on one knee.

Engaged and I could post his picture, I felt like I was on cloud nine! 


What about before CB, tell us about that...
I moved to Dallas in 2012 and didn't know a single person here. I moved for a job opportunity, the same current position I have today doing Marketing and Advertising for Tohatsu Outboards. I was very open about how hard it is to make friends in a new city. You can catch yourselves up on those posts here. There are a lot of them.

Thank god for blogging because that's where I met this chick you probably know all about, Helene. Helene had been blogging for, I don't know, maybe six months when I started. She already had a following and I found her blog pretty easily. I not so subtly nagged her to go get drinks with me when I found out she was in Dallas. We hit it off from the very first meeting. There was no awkward convo lull, it was so easy. She was my saving grace here in Dallas. 

Now, this was back in the vintage days of blogging. It is NOTHING like it used to be. That's another post for another day though. 


Didn't you start another blog? What's the deal with that?
I started Dallas Love List - a guide to Dallas' best murals, food, drink and events -  for two reasons. 

1. I saw a need for a Dallas based account that had a lifestyle blogger's touch on it. Us lifestyle bloggers know the tricks to creating a BRIGHT, COLORFUL, COHESIVE feed that catches the eye. We also know how to use hashtags and how to grow a following. Although there were lots of amazing foodie accounts dedicated to Dallas, I didn't see many all-encompassing Dallas accounts. So I made one. 

2. I wanted to go to events for free and I didn't want to have to share those events here on VTIM because why on earth would you guys care about Dallas based events? Y'all are scattered all over the country, and it didn't make sense to do Dallas-based event recaps on here. 

Hey, I'm honest over here. Also, it was the best decision I've ever made. I freaking love operating Dallas Love List. 

This took me a lot of background to get into what I really want to talk about today...
Last night I guest hosted a "Dallas Newcomer Happy Hour" with my fav mag ever, D Magazine.

I was mingling, getting to know the Dallas newbies. I was obviously the perfect person to attend because I know how hard it is to crack this city. It took me a solid two years. 

I asked several girls how they heard about the event. I heard so many people say, "I follow this account called Dallas Love List!

GAHHH! COOL! 

If that wasn't the coolest thing ever,  I don't know what is. If I can help anyone feel more comfortable as a newbie here in Dallas, then I've done a great job operating that account. 

That also helped me realize that there is absolutely a need for a brunch club for Dallas newbies. That'll be my next project -- as if I don't have enough going on. What's one more thing right? 

So yeah, that's my Dallas life in a nutshell. A nutshell with an awesome skyline that never gets old. 

12 May 2017

A Food Photography Trick + Get A Free App and an Awesome Happy Hour



If you watched my Instagram Stories last night (and learned about CB's sunglass hoarding problem) you'll know that we had dinner at one of my absolute favorite places to eat, Kona Grill. They have THE BEST HAPPY HOUR EVER which is only available in the bar and patio. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon and we were very hungry! We grabbed a shady patio spot and prepared to get our grub on!


If you've never been to their Happy Hour it is filled with not JUST drinks, but tons of food options at so many different price levels. We're talking sushi UNDER $5!!!

Just for being SOOO good to me and reading this blog posts, I've managed to get you a hookup for a free appetizer just for clicking here

πŸ˜³πŸ‘―πŸ™ŒπŸ˜˜

I'm going to let you guys in on a little food photography trick that I've picked up since starting Dallas Love List. When you go out to eat and are wanting to get great food photos, don't just order your own entree while your guest orders their own entree. Order several different things, split them, and ask for them all at once.

This is great because:
A. You get to try so many different menu items
B. You're going to get a much more interesting photo than just a single dish.
C. You'll probably have leftover to enjoy for lunch the next day -- I'm looking at you Lobster mac and cheese waiting for me in the fridge at work today! 

I think we took our server off guard, I don't think he was prepared for two people to order that much food! We split 5 different menu items: Crab Crunch Roll (perhaps my favorite roll of all time), Wave Roll, Lobster and Tuna Flatbread, Chicken and Shrimp Lettuce wraps and the Lobster Mac and Cheese.

Did I mention we also got dessert -- oh yeah, we got dessert.
On that wedding diet, y'all!



Happy Hour Old Fashioned

Crab Crunch Roll + Wave Roll + Lobster and Tuna Flatbread  









Lobster Mac and Cheese...
Y'all I was dying, the lobster chunks were SOOOO BIG!

Next up || Chicken and Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Then to finish....
Butter cake with raspberry sauce and vanilla bean ice cream



So what are you waiting for? Take your sweetie to your local Kona grill and tell em Sarah sent you. JK, that won't do anything πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚

What I can do though is get you a free appetizer just for reading through this blog post!
Click HERE for your FREEEEE APP! YOU. ARE. WELCOME. πŸ˜‰

11 May 2017

Putting the Wedding Dress on a Pedestal

I really need to work on my posture. A camera man at an event this weekend even told me that. Yikes. Sitting up straight is just so hard, and slumping over is just so easy.   

I feel like I haven't done much wedding coverage for you guys on this blog. As I mentioned before, I am guest blogging the whole wedding planning process for D Weddings. In case you missed the links to those posts on Instagram, feel free to catch up here:

Y'all already know me pretty well by now though

Yup, we picked a venue and a date!! 
Bet you never thought we'd get there! 

Warning : Sarcasm Ahead 


My mom is coming to town next weekend and we are going wedding dress shopping. My budget is low, very low. Like, $1,000 low. Needless to say, I will not be getting a Panini Torini or whatever the name of the gown is on Say Yes to the Dress.

Yes, I realize I've butchered that name, so sue me. If she wants to give me a dress for free, I'll gladly work harder at looking up the proper spelling. Until then, I'll continue to think of a hot pressed tomato and gouda cheese sandwich with a side of hot soup.

Mmmmm, cheese.

ANYWAY, where was I? Oh yeah, wedding dresses.

I booked a couple of appointments at some bridal salons around Dallas for next weekend, but I'm pretty sure the selection at my $1,000 price point will be minimal. I would imagine I'll have to come up a few hundred to find anything.

But then, earlier this week something happened.....

I have a collaboration (all of you brides are going to die, this is such an awesome company) with The White Box coming up. They sent me a link to a dress that is ONLINE that I straight up fell in love with.

Not only did I fall in love, it is also WELL within my $1,000 budget. I mean, well within. It's beautiful, has detailed beading and embroidery and is exactly the dress I had been envisioning. Did I mention it was well within my price point? 

Downside::::::::::
It's a BHLDN dress, but there is no BHLDN location in Dallas.

What does one do here? Do I pull the trigger on a wedding dress --- ONLINE? There are free returns and I could easily exchange it for another size if I pick the wrong one, but I think my hesitation comes down to missing out on the fun part of going wedding dress shopping.

In a world of Say Yes to the Dress back to back to back to back to back to back to back episodes, it feels so lame to say YES! to the dress on a weekday morning at 10am while I sip coffee that has gone cold.

Adding a wedding dress to a "cart" also seems weird. Then again, who cares? I've never been the kind to put on a show for appearance sake. I make no qualms about buying pretty much everything at TJ Maxx, so what do I care if I buy a dress at a bridal shop or not?

I can return it, there really is no downside to taking a chance on it.

It just seems so -- un-special is all. The dress will arrive after my mom has already left Dallas. I'll probably end up trying it on by myself in the bedroom on a Monday night after a long day of work. I won't have any in-person support. There won't be a pedestal to stand on and show off the lines of the gown, there won't be a consultant to add that *special finishing touch* that brings everyone to tears.

I sound like a self-absorbed bride right now. Ugh, I'm just so conflicted.

I'm also nervous that I'm going to go to a bridal salon and fall in love with a dress that is out of my price range. I'll fall in love with it though because I will have the pedestal, the oohhhs and ahhs and the consultant who puts the *special finishing touch* on the look and brings everyone to tears.

WHY ARE WEDDINGS SO HARD?!

What would you guys do?!? 
BE HONEST! 

02 May 2017

Blush Gimlet Recipe || Drink on Fleek




My girlfriends and I get together at least 3-4 times a year for a girl's weekend. We generally take trips, and this past weekend we visited our friend Laura (who is lucky enough to live in New Orleans!) for the first weekend of Jazz Fest. I always offer to make cocktails for everyone, and this year was no different. I wanted to make something pretty (because, instagram, of course) but also tasty. I decided to make the girls a blush gimlet with rosemary.
Before you get started, this is the main ingredient you'll need for your Blush Gimlet!

It is my absolute go-to!

Have you made a cocktail with Seagrams Gin before? When I'm at a cocktail lounge and keeping things simple, I usually order it in a dirty gin martini, but today I'm going to show you how to make something a little fancier, something that your girlfriends will want to Instagram right away! 











Blush Gimlet with Rosemary

Ingredients for one drink

2 oz of GIN 
I prefer this brand for the Blush Gimlet

1.5 oz Grapefruit Juice

0.5 oz simple syrup 
You can make your own or purchase from liquor store. 
I was on the go, so I purchased mine

Rosemary for garnish

Grapefruit for garnish

Ice Cubes


Directions

If you've been reading my "Drink on Fleek" Series, you'll know that I always prefer to use a plain plastic drink mixer as my shaker. Judge if you will, but it is SOOOO quick and easy and has a built in strainer for keeping the ice out of your drink. 

Combine GIN, grapefruit juice, simple syrup and ice cubes and shake. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with rosemary and grapefruit. 

It's that simple! 




I actually really enjoy just a simple gin on the rocks with some olives and olive juice too! The girls and I spent Saturday night enjoying Seagram's together. It was so fun getting to see them,  I can't wait until our next adventure (and our next cocktail!) 



What's your favorite cocktail to make for your girlfriends?

I would love for you to click here and tell me which cocktail idea you think looks good for me to make on the NEXT edition of Drink on Fleek!