Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

28 February 2017

My Three Jobs

Thank you to Special K for sponsoring this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  

One of my proudest projects to date has been Dallas Love List. I love this blog too, obviously but I've been at this thing for 4 years and sometimes I lose motivation pretty easily. Maybe it's because it's new. Or maybe it's because I have so much fun working on it. Or maybe, to be honest, it's because it has been so easy... but either way Dallas Love List is my favorite project to date. 

Just to recap, that means I honestly have the equivalent of 3 full time jobs. 
Ok, perhaps that is a slight exaggeration, but I am certainly always working on SOMETHING. 

If you are new here, here is a refresher of all the projects, jobs, pursuits I'm currently working on:

1. The bread and butter: my full time marketing and advertising position with the outboard motor company. I don't travel THAT often, but when I do, it is usually for well over a week at a time. This is the job I came to Dallas for and I love the opportunities it has presented for me. I'm happy as a clam at this position! Plus, I've been with the company 5 years now which means: EXTENDED VACATION TIME! Whoop! 

2. VTIM: Venus Trapped in Mars. I know there are a lot of you who have been with me from pretty darn close to conception. I started this blog as a way to teach my girlfriends about sports. It has since transformed into something TOTALLY different. I've shared struggles with loneliness and body insecurities, I've shared happiness and love, I've shared pups and fun events in Dallas. It's a true lifestyle blog.

3. Dallas Love List - I saw the need for a local, Dallas based instagram account with incredible photography. I knew there was a spot for Dallas Love List to do well, I just didn't know it would take off so quickly. 

I've been honest about WHY I started Dallas Love List from the very beginning: free events, free food, free experiences. There have been a few times on VTIM when I went out and requested press passes for Dallas Based events (Example HERE) recapped them, and realized you guys really shouldn't care about Dallas based events. Those of you reading VTIM are all over the country, not just in Dallas. I wanted to go to more events (I bore easily) but didn't want to bombard y'all with stuff that is totally irrelevant. 

So, Dallas Love List was born. Careful what you wish for because it's amazing how quickly your schedule can get jam packed. I personally LOVE IT! The more the better. 

With that said, I'm always running around like a crazy person. I dress super casual for work (jeans, comfortable top) so when I get up in the morning I'm packing a bag for whatever event I have when I get out of work. Maybe it's a media dinner, craft beer festival, new menu tasting, wine and donut pairing (jk, I don't know if that's a thing but it needs to be), a new liquor reveal.... etc. etc. etc. 

As someone who is always running late, the last thing I need in the morning when I'm trying to pack for the rest of the day is to stand around and make an elaborate breakfast. I need fast and easy, think grab and go. 

PLEASE tell me you guys have tried at least one of these? My favorite is the Special K Nourish Snack Bars in Caramel Almond Sea Salt but honestly, they are all delicious. I grab one off the top of the fridge (aka- the pantry for those of you like us, who don't have a pantry), toss it in my bag and I'm on my way to sit in the lovely Dallas traffic.

Although the Special K Snack Bars have been out for a while, the Special K Nourish Bites are a totally new launch. New Protein Snack Bites flavors include: Caramel Nut and Peanut Butter Chocolate, plus they also have the new Nourish Snack Bites in the following flavors: Blueberry Almond Quinoa and Dark Chocolate Pistachio!

I LOVE Special K cereal (Chocolatey Delight is my go to when I have a sweet tooth craving) but I can't believe they make these snacks that are also so tasty. Plus, thanks to the real, visible ingredients like quinoa, pistachios, almonds and dark chocolate they're really filling too.

I don't care if you have 8 full time jobs and 6 blogs, a house full of kids or a house full of puppies (invite me over, please??) we are all, simply put, BUSY. Mornings should be easy, they set the entire pace of your day. For more information about Special K’s new Nourish and Protein Snack Bites, or new Snack Bar varieties, visit Special K's website and follow @SpecialKUS on Facebook and Twitter.  

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s Special K.

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27 February 2017

Need Your Help || Booze Free Things To Do

Ok y'all, today is a big day for me. I've been planning for today for the past few weeks. A couple of my girlfriends did the Advocare 24 Day Challenge and they had so much success with it that I decided I had to get on board. It's only 24 days, but that'll be 24 days without booze. It is a pretty strict regimen but it includes eating every few hours. 

I'm one of those people who have absolutely NO problem with eating the same thing over and over and over again. I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every single day for lunch for 10 years of my childhood life. For the record, this wasn't my mom's fault, I was just boring and content to live my life on PB&J. 

So, today I embark on 24 days of no booze. That's really the one thing I'm nervous about, especially with Dallas Love List beginning to gain some traction and get some really cool invites to events that include.... FREE BOOZE. 

Answer: "I'll take, What's the only thing Sarah loves more than booze, Alex for $1,000"
Question: What is Free Booze, Alex. 

Ding Ding Ding! Free booze just tastes so much better, IMO. 

My plan of attack is to try and divvy out some of these invites to my friends, so I don't put myself in a position to fail, but Dallas Love List can still cover the event! 

If you see my snaps or insta stories and I have a glass of wine, feel free to call me out.

BUT I AM NOT GOING TO CHEAT ON THIS. I'm just not. It's only 24 days, I GOT THIS! 

I thought I'd do some posts along the way. For example, maybe how I'm feeling + changes I've seen halfway through, plus some ideas of things to do that don't include drinking. My plan is to load up my schedule with booze-free events, so I'll share those with you as I go!

Did I mention day 20 includes the following:
VIP tickets to a Bacon and Beer festival
Dallas Love List is taking over the festival's Instagram account on the day of the event 
Then a craft beer festival that night at House of Blues

ruh rho. 

Not sharing full honesty with y'all just isn't really my style, so here we go with the full disclosure.... I think 24 days alcohol free is a very good thing for me. I know I drink too much, and need to learn to set boundaries and limits while drinking. I NEED to prove to myself that 24 days without alcohol is really no big deal at all, and I can do it.

I don't know about you guys, but it feels like everything these days revolves around booze. When we traveled to Denver we hopped around to all the different craft breweries. Anytime I give someone a suggestion on things to do in Dallas it generally involves eating really bad for you food (but oh so good) and drinking delicious beer and wine.

In all honesty, and this maybe probably sounds bad, but I just feel like I'm going to get bored. The second I get bored I'll be in jeopardy of failing. I'm thinking if I plan activities the same way I plan meals, I will set myself up for success, not failure.

So, I need your help - hit me with all of your ideas for alcohol-free things to do. I've already got about 20 things on my list, but the more the better. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated. I'll compile all of your ideas plus the ones I've written down into a blog post!

Ok, here goes nothing. 
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Morning Weirdness with RaceTrac

Thank you to RaceTrac for sponsoring this post!  

(Translation: meh.) 

I had THE BEST WEEKEND, finally having some time off after my trip to Miami! CB and I just hung out, went to a concert, rode bikes to our neighborhood's Mardi Gras parade. Just kept it fun and simple. It was so refreshing, and a much needed couple of days off for me. 

I am pretty sure I owe you guys a ton of trip recaps. Vancouver and Miami - even though they were for work I maximized every second of free time I had available. Plus Denver and I'm pretty sure I haven't even finished talking about what we did in NYC - *cough* nearly three months ago *cough*. 

Now that all these work trips are over, I vow to be a better blogger. Scouts honor. 

Before I get into those recaps though, today I'm bringing you the 4th installment of my partnership with RaceTrac! For today's topic, I'm talking about the WEIRD and UNORTHODOX things that I need to get going in the morning. 

RaceTrac's newest campaign is all about doing WHATEVER you need to do in the morning to get you going -- #WhateverGetsYouGoing. 

If you missed the first few posts, get caught up below! 

Honestly, I'm just really not that weird on weekday mornings. Although one of the best selling items at RaceTrac in the morning is a hot dog, I'd probably not be the one to order that. On workdays, I need whatever is fastest to get me out the door because I'm always running at least 5 minutes behind. Think a breakfast bar, fizzy water and an apple and I'm out the door. I absolutely cannot live without fizzy water, because it keeps the water boredom at bay. 

Here is where I can get a little weird though. I'm not a big sweet tooth person. Dessert just isn't my weakness when I'm trying to diet and eat healthy -- think chips and salsa, fried chicken and pizza. I will say though, the only time I crave a piece of chocolate is first thing in the morning. Nothing fancy, just milk chocolate or a crunch bar! 

Is that weird????? 🤔🤔🤔🤔 

Weekend mornings though? When I have way more time? Well that's a totally different story. Here is my Weekend #MorningApproved list of weird foods.......

Cold Pizza
 real shock there to you, guys, I'm sure 

String Cheese

Pad Thai 
legit, the best thing you could ever eat at 11am on Saturday morning

Ice Cream

Diet Coke in a coffee cup
I feel more "morning normal" putting it in a coffee cup

Leftovers from the Night Before
mac and cheese, don't mind if I do

Avocado Toast 
This is prob not that weird but daaaaang is it good 

S'Mores Poptarts 
I'm addicted

Cheeseburger with just ketchup

Ok y'all, spill it. What weird thing do you crave in the morning? 
Or are you like me and content with a grab and get out the door breakfast bar and coffee kind of person? 

PSA: RaceTrac has made to order PIZZA available ALL FREAKING DAY!!! WHAT! You can grab a piece, or customize your own 7‐inch pizza, selecting from toppings like mushrooms, black olives, onions, jalapeños, bacon, sausage and pepperoni. Just thought you should know this valuable information. YOU ARE WELCOME! 

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23 February 2017

Take it Yeezy

This post was written by me through an activation with HireInfluence on behalf of Community Coffee. Although I received compensation for participating in the campaign, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I take a few things very seriously: Vol Football, access to the Bravo channel in hotel rooms and coffee mugs. Today I'm partnering with Community Coffee to talk about the last of those three passions, coffee mugs! 

I found this Take it Yeezy mug on Etsy and I knew I had to have it. For those that don't know, I am a huge rap music fan.
There is nothing that gets me motivated to kick a day in the booty like a 2 Chainz or Kayne jam -- the old stuff that is, the new stuff is a little too "Kayne being Kayne" for me. 

Rap music is the only kind of music that will pull me out of my shyness and get me on the dance floor. I used to have this terrible (and by terrible I mean perfect) little joint called Elm Street Bar within walking distance from my old apartment in Deep Ellum that played nothing but rap music. The crowd in there was always welcoming and judgement free. It was the perfect little bar to check your insecurities at the door and just shake your booty! 

Elm Street Bar, in a weird way, I like to think pulled me out of my comfort zone. They'd play all my favorite rap jams and I'd never be my usual shy self, hiding in the corner. I'd be the first on the floor and the last to leave. I checked my fear and dance floor anxiety at the door with my coat and just let loose. I ended up making so many friends doing so, and have more nights than I care to count with CB on that dance floor. 

Sadly, like many of the run down places in Deep Ellum, has since closed and been turned into a Falafel shop or a $15 craft cocktail lounge. While I like that kind of place too, I'll forever miss my favorite little judgement-free dance bubble, Elm Street Bar. 

I like to say that this coffee mug reminds me of all the times I didn't worry about if Becky was looking at my butt because it was so big (yes, that was a Sir Mix-a-lot baby got back reference, YW) or if anyone was making fun of my terrible dance moves. 

I just did ME. I did my thing and did not care. I made friends, I laughed and I let my insecurities go. This is something I need to do in my day-to-day life a lot more. Let go and stop stressing over if someone will be judging me or not, and just do ME! 

So that's the story of my favorite mug, Community Coffee and I want to hear about YOUR favorite mug! Share the story and a photo of your favorite mug on Instagram right now using the hashtag #ShowYourMug and #contest and you could win a year's supply of Community Coffee and other coffee goodies! 

It's that easy! So what are you waiting for??? 

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10 February 2017

The Wedding Plan Everyone Thinks I'm Joking About

Apparently when you get engaged everyone thinks you've already planned your entire wedding within moments of accepting a proposal. I hardly screamed "Holy Shit" and "Hell Yes" at CB before someone asked if we had set a date. 

To answer everyone's question, no we still haven't. It has been a week and a half since we got engaged, and we still haven't set a date. In modern day society, not having set a date 13 days in basically means that we'll never get married and we aren't serious about our future. 

CB and I don't fight that much, but I brought up the cost of a photographer and lawwwd help us we were in a full blown argument. The kind of argument that you can feel you're wrong in, but you've come way too far and you've fallen way too deep and you can't dig yourself back out. I wanted to end the argument, I really did, but I wasn't physically able to do so. 

We were laying in bed and my body said, go over there, snuggle with him, just end this ridiculous disagreement about how much we should be spending on a photographer. My mind though? Well, my mind wouldn't program my body to move. My mind said BE MAD. BE VERY MAD. DO NOT GIVE UP, DO NOT GIVE IN. Let this fester as long as possible. 


As it turned out, the photographer argument turned out to be a good thing because I think we both voiced our opinions and came to the conclusion that this needed to be a FUN process, not a stressful one. The second we don't have fun planning this thing, we will make a conscious effort to step back and remember it isn't about the cost of the photographer -- it's about me and Drew--- or CB --- or whoever I marry that day. LOLS! 

Staying within our budget is our number one priority. I have had this vision for our wedding that I am very VERY serious about, but every time I tell someone they think I'm joking. 

Like, they literally laugh and say, "OMG you're hilarious." They then bring their giggles to a halt and look at me again, waiting for me to tell them the real plan. 

No no, that's my plan. Why is it so funny? 


If a couple want to release doves into the air as they finally kiss, release doves. If a bride wants to wear a black dress, wear a black dress. If you want a puppy petting farm, get a puppy petting farm -- (wait, that's a great idea, writing that down). 

My point, there's no weird thing to do. It's yall's day, do yo thing. 

So--- with that said----

I'm not sure why everyone is laughing at me like I just told THE GREATEST JOKE OF ALL TIME when I say I'd really like to have Pizza Hut and a self-serve keg of beer. 

Why is that funny???????????? 

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08 February 2017

Fifty Shades of Donuts

This post is in partnership with Universal Pictures.

I know I already spilled the beans that I had a Fifty Shades of Darker themed post coming your way in my engagement announcement post. 

Was bringing that up just an excuse to link back to the engagement post? Perhaps.........

Last weekend I had the gals (and - seeing as it turned out to be a bit of an engagement party - the guys too) over for a Fifty Shades of Darker masquerade party. I've "read" all the books and am SO pumped for the release of the film on Feb. 10th. Now, when I say "read" I've listened on audible. Boy, let me tell y'all, THAT is a book that is wayyyyy more fun on Audible while sitting in rush hour. I remember at one point during the book I just sat in the driveway, I couldn't get out of the car I was so hooked!

I knew I wanted to throw a donut + cocktail party in honor of the film’s February 10th release. I don't know about you, but nothing is sexier than donuts and cocktails. Just my honest opinion. 

CB helped me build the donut holder shown above. It is just a wood plank with some dowels place down the board. It only took 5 minutes to make, which was about how long it took for everyone to scarf down the donuts at the party! 

I also had an official hashtag for the party: #50ShadesofDonuts (LOLS!) 

Ok, why am I writing this post on an empty stomach????? 

In addition to a Red Satin Fifty Shades of Grey red wine for us to split, I also had a silver photo backdrop, black and silver balloons and the CUUUUTEST goodie bags to give the girls! Inside the goodie bags was a copy of Fifty Shades Darker book so they could read it again before we all go to the theaters next weekend and watch together, a great lounge shirt, a masquerade mask to wear at the party in case anyone forgot to bring one, and a makeup bag!

I also made French Kiss Cocktails

3/4 Oz Raspberry Liqueur  
3/4 Oz Peach Schnapps
3/4 Oz Vodka
Splash of OJ + Cranberry + Pineapple Juice

Shake Shake Shake over Ice and Serve!! 

I think it is safe to say that everyone had a FANTASTIC time and is pumped for the movie release! Make sure you watch the trailer below and check out Fifty Shades of Grey in theaters Feb. 10th! Get your tickets NOW via Fandango

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