Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

18 September 2017

Berry Bourbon Smash + How To Choose A Signature Whiskey for Your Bar Cart

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Diageo. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #CollectiveBias #thewhiskey5



Attending college (the best college in the world, fact) in the South sparked my love for whiskey. Whiskey was served at any party we went to, and certainly the first thing ordered at the bars. After college, I spent 2 years living in Kentucky and was introduced to a slightly different liquor that was king in Kentucky, known as bourbon. I've pretty much been in love with each ever since.

Now, a lot has changed since I was in college, and also since I lived in Kentucky. For starters, I'm an adult with a job (well, technically like 43 jobs if you count this blog and my full time job, and Dallas Love List and occasionally blog designing, and occasionally free-lance writing and and and... you catch my drift). Sure, I had jobs in college and while living in Kentucky, but my salary reflected that of a punk kid just out of college.

Now, at age 30, I can afford to not jump straight to well liquors - and the lovely way they make you feel the next morning. I like to think of a nice liquor as an investment piece for my bar cart. I'm certainly not going to serve it in bulk at a party, and it's there for us to enjoy from time to time.
SO, you want to invest in a nice liquor, but what the heck do you buy???

Enter Whiskey5.com, You simply select the two flavors that best suit your taste, and use a slider to select intensity of each flavor. I'm no newbie to whiskey, so I fell straight in the bold category. Is it weird to be proud of this? Should I add this to my resume? Asking for a friend...

You'll select between the following flavor profiles: Smooth, Spicy, Bold, Sweet, Smoky, then just hit "Get results" to find your flavor. That simple. It even gives you recipe ideas, or suggests if it would actually be good just solo, on the rocks! CB and I like to have whiskey on the rocks (I personally dig the circular ice molds, they're fantastic) and a splash of water.



Today though, I thought I'd show you a cocktail you can make using one of the bourbons I picked out of the bold category: Bulleit 10 year old. The bold category explores the deeper flavors achieved by generous aging; a remarkable pallet with a mix of oak, dark fruits and charred smokiness and long rich finish.

My absolute favorite bourbon/whiskey cocktail is a smash, with muddled fruits and herbs. So, let's hop to it!

Here is my Berry Bourbon Smash featuring Bulleit Bourbon 10 year old!






|| Instructions Makes 2 || 

4 Strawberries

Small handful of blueberries (I used about 10) 

8 basil leaves

3 oz bourbon

3 oz lemon lime soda

1.5oz lemon juice

1 oz agave or simple syrup

Lemon slices and basil for garnish 


|| Directions || 

Lightly muddle strawberries, blueberries and basil in a cocktail shaker until fragrant. Add bourbon and lemon juice, then fill with ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass filled crushed ice and top with lemon lime soda. Garnish with lemon slice and basil. 



It's so easy to use the whiskey5.com site to find your flavor match! Go check out their website, select your two flavor profiles, adjust using the slider and voila! Your new whiskey match appears. They even have a store locator for you to find your whiskey match. While in store, be on the lookout for the following whiskey5.com branded display! 


So, are you a whiskey drinker? 
If so, what's your favorite, go-to whiskey? 


15 September 2017

Ten Instagram Accounts to follow for Interior Decor Inspiration

I was asked by Carusele to participate in the #HygroCotton campaign, sponsored by Welspun. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.



CB and I...

Wait, someone start a tally on how many of my blog posts start with "CB and I..."

ANYWAY - *Insert fav opening line here* are working on becoming adults and not having a house full of hand me downs. Decorating is expensive, so it isn't like you can just buy everything all at once. We've started with buying art for the walls. We go to a ton of events around Dallas where there are art walks and local artists have their work for sale. We almost always fall in love with multiple prints at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival and we just bought a large new print this past weekend at a festival!

Finding the right pieces takes time and money. It takes years to find a collection that you can afford, and fit in your design scheme. Our biggest focus is getting our guest bedroom and guest bathroom ready for the influx of friends and family we will have leading up to our wedding in March. I'm excited to get some items that make our guests feel comfortable and at home.

It's hard enough when you're traveling, so I wanted to find some towels for our guest bathroom (and, well, for us too because I'm selfish like that) that were really big, but also plush and cozy for our guests to feel right at home. I can't tell you how many times I've stayed in someone's guest room to find 1. Towels that were so ornate that I was too nervous to touch or use, or 2. towels that were tattered and clearly been around the block a few times.

I recently learned about HygroCotton® technology which is found in select sheet and towel brands at well-known retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Costco, Kohls, JC Penney, Walmart, Macy’s, Kmart and Sears. The technology in these towels works by creating advanced performance through unique air-flow, moisture wicking, temperature regulation and absorbency. Its revolutionary hollow core actually wicks moisture away! HygroCotton® products get softer, loftier and, if you can believe this, get more comfortable over time! HygroCotton® towels are more absorbent, dry you quicker and get softer and more plush wash after wash.

Our guest bathroom has a lot of grey and pale blue undertones, so I went with a couple of their light grey towels.









Keeping with today's theme of home decor and interior design, I thought I'd show you a few of the Instagram accounts that I love looking up for design inspo! Because, let's face it, we still have a lot left to do to get ready for March 3rd when all of our family and friends come in town!

Here are a few of my favorite accounts for Interior Design Inspo! 

1. Goldalamode


Size matters ๐ŸŒฟ But seriously I'm quite disturbed that there isn't a larger variety of plant leaf emojis. Where is the monstera leaf emoji?! Who can we talk to about this? . . Also no joke these monstera leaves are the size of my coffee table... and I walked around NYC with them as if they were my brand new baby. People were staring. (Probz just jealous). One guy even said "hey sweetie, nice leaves." That is the only catcalling I will ever accept. ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿค— ________________________ http://liketk.it/2sf0Q #liketkit @liketoknow.it . . . . . #myplantlovinghome #plantsmakepeoplehappy #plantpackedparadise #jungalowstyle #sodomino #mydomaine #ltkhome #bloglovinhome #myfavoritehouseview #glitterguide #flashesofdelight #ggathome #apartmenttherapy #theeverygirl #stellarspaces #dogsindecor #dspetstyle #currentdesignsituation #abmathome #myeclecticmix #mybohoabode #tuesdaydecorparade #tuesdaydwellings #thatsaviewtuesday #lightandbrighttuesday #thelighthome #howyouhome #plantsonplantsonplants
A post shared by Cara Irwin // Goldalamode (@goldalamode) on

2. Halfway_Wholeistic

What's the one word people most commonly use to describe your style? I think I get "simple" or "calming" the most ☺️It's true though! You guys are spot on. I've learned to stick to simplicity because that's what makes me feel at home. I love seeing how other people design their homes to match their style. I recently toured the home of a designer who literally had EVERY wall and corner covered in decor. Pattern and color were not lacking and he had more throw pillows than I could ever imagine! It takes him 7 minutes to make his bed to perfection each day and he displays his wardrobe according to the season ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I was in awe of how unique and tailored his style was to suit him, yet so different from my own. That's the beauty of it, everyone's style is unique and special in its own way. So let's hear it! How is your style best described in one word?! #liketkit @liketoknow.it http://liketk.it/2sivG #LTKhome . . . . . #mysundaysimplicity #entryway #entrywaydecor #target #targetstyle #mywestelm #handm #decor #design #orangecounty #interiordesign #interiordesigner #theeverygirl #smploves #smpliving #lcdotcomloves #mydomain #cb2 #signaturestylehome #whitefarmhousedecor #hclcsundaycalm #deeperthandecor #mydecoratedspace #mywhiteweekend #sweetsundayserenity
A post shared by KATIE STAPLES (@halfway_wholeistic) on

3. House Of Hipsters Blog


4. Centered_by_Design



5. Summer Adams Designs

No matter how many times I come to Hawaii, it never gets old. Funny thing though....I can't lay out for more than a few hours. I get fidgety and think about stuff I need to get done instead of just relaxing. I need to be doing something or adventuring and I need to be moving around. Does anyone else get that way? So I'm having breakfast, heading to the gym, and off to surf!๐Ÿ„๐Ÿผ‍♀️ Aloha!๐ŸŒบ Shop this post here --> http://liketk.it/2stt1 #liketkit @liketoknow.it #ltkhome . Search "DIY Framed Wallpaper Panels" on by blog by linking through @summeradamsdesigns . . . . . . . . #blushtones #blushandbashful #blushandgold #mypbteen #officeinspo #officeinspiration #ilovepink #ihavethisthingwithpink #bowchair #wallpaper #diywallpaper #diywalldecor #diywallart #framedwallart #framedwallpaper #instadecor #instaluxe #interiorinspo #interiorinspiration #InteriorDesign
A post shared by Summer Adams (@summeradamsdesigns) on

6. House Updated

A post shared by Brit | House Updated (@houseupdated) on

7. House of Six Interiors

Guys!!! 100K!!! Whaaaat!?! This is my thank you letter to ALL of you. Thank you for following along on this crazy journey- never did I nor could I have imagined the endless support and encouragement I would receive from all of you. You all have provided me not only with words of encouragement but endless & crazy-good inspiration. That is the amazing thing about of this crazy Insta ride- there is such a feeling of community over competition. It truly is amazing. We all have so much to share, to learn from and to give in so many ways. I am grateful for each and everyone of you. I have also made such wonderful Insta friends who have turned real life friends...I love you all!! Thank you๐Ÿ˜˜ So to celebrate, tonight I'm thinking a little bubbly is in order while I soak in some bubbly. ๐Ÿฅ‚. Ahhhh...sounds good, right!?! . . . . . . . #apartmentherapy #ambularinteriorsaintgotnothingonme #beckiowensfeature #dslooking #designsponge #ehdweekendmakeover #ggathome #houseofsixinteriors #hgtvmagazine #cldecor #homewithrue #lonnymag #mydomaine #mycovetedhome #mybhg #myhousebeautiful #simplystyleyourspace #smmakelifebeautiful #sodomino #smploves #theeverygirlathome #showemyourstyled #modernfarmhouse #smphome #theartofslowliving #thankyou #myscandinavianhome #myhyggehome #bathroom #howwedwell
A post shared by t a n y a (@houseofsixinteriors) on

8. Domino Mag

9. Pretty.Little.Interiors



10. Sarah_Joy__

A post shared by Sarah Joy | Interior Designer (@sarah_joy__) on


Be sure to start following these accounts if you're design obsessed! Have any other recs you think I should follow, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave them in a comment below! I'd love to find some organizational accounts, in particular!

Next time you're walking around your favorite major retailer, be sure to stop and look for the bath towels (they're giant too, perfect for completely wrapping up in right after getting out of a steamy hot shower) with the HygroCotton® label! 

Plus, for more info, be sure to check Welspun's social channels: Facebook | Twitter



12 September 2017

Why Is Finding a Honeymoon Destination So Difficult?

CB and I made an attempt at knocking out some wedding planning last night. Do I feel like we deserve an award for working so hard at the wedding for a solid 97 minutes? Yes, but that is not the point of today's post. 



Last night we sat down and worked on finding a way to print our invitations. I designed them but I don't want to just send them over to kinkos or something, I want them to be printed on really nice paper and maybe even have the print fill the envelope lining. Not sure yet how the heck to do that, will get back to you on that. Or, if you have any insight here, I'm all ears. 

We also did a little digging into our honeymoon. This is, in fact, what today's post is about. Talk about THE MOST OVERWHELMING process ever. 

Here are our requests: 
1. All inclusive 
2. Adults only
3. Not more expensive than the wedding itself 

I don't feel like this should be that difficult. We don't have a big preference on destination as long as there is either a great pool or beach, and a bar supplying unlimited cocktails for our enjoyment. 

Let me tell y'all - this honeymoon is more daunting than the wedding planning. Every site I go to offers 23323423423 destination options, 2348324123 sub destinations once you choose a destination, then 234234313423 hotels available in sub destination's destination, followed by 4-5 types/brands of hotel available in sub destination's destination. 

OH. MY. GOD. 

Anytime I go on a trip, take Austin for example, I use pinterest to see where bloggers have been. I just googled "the cutest hotels in Austin" or something like that. Up pops Hotel Van Zandt and Hotel Saint Cecilia. It was really that simple. 

If you Pinterest search "cutest all-inclusive honeymoon hotels" you just get a bunch of ads, hotels I could never afford (but MAYBE --- MAAAYYYYBBBEEEE Beyonce could) and then a photo of a sloth in what appears to be a small bin. 




After opening 18 tabs of different collections of hotels - i.e. Secrets, Beaches, Couples Resorts, Sandals, Boots, Moccasins, Fairytales, Tailwinds, Dreamwinds, Dreamboat, Dreamy McDreamerson - we gave up and watched football. 

Giving up and watching football, or baseball or grabbing beers has been the theme of our wedding process. It's all just SO OVERWHELMING. There are so many options and I don't have any tabs in my browser or my brain left to open. 

SOMEONE PLEASE HELP. We are poor (not really, but you get the point) and don't want to spend $10k on a honeymoon. Full disclosure, we really don't want to spend $5k or anywhere near that. 

Hit me with it straight, can we get an all-inclusive, adults only honeymoon at a cute hotel for under $4k? Or should we go ahead and start planning our trip to take our honeymoon in VA Beach where it's free to stay with my mom?***

***Mom, you're not allowed to answer this question, I know this is what you'd want. 

Also, if you know of any resources that are not spammy (I'm talking a lifestyle or travel blogger type website) that shared their honeymoon in somewhere like Mexico, Puerto Rico, Caribbean, Jamaica Etc. Etc. Etc., please let me know so I can go visit their page and maybe get less overwhelmed. 

04 September 2017

10 Things Every Tailgate Must Have

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of True Value. The opinions and text are all mine.


Take a big sniff, can y'all smell it? 

Can you smell the burgers on the grill?

Can you smell the fresh cut grass? 

Can you smell the freshly painted shirtless dudes with D-FENCE spelled out across their chest? 

Can you hear the piercing scream coming from Oak Cliff, Texas. The scream that will literally dismember your eardrum if you get too close? Yeah, that's my scream when the Vols or the Cowboys break free for a 45 yard touchdown run to take the lead late in the 4th quarter.  

Football season last year was so rough for me. It was the highest highs and the lowest lows of my entire life. If you think I'm being dramatic, I am, and I won't stop. Being a football fan is a dangerous addiction, and once you pop you can't stop. Y'all know me well enough by now, you certainly know I'm just in way too deep at this point to ever have the chance of coming up for air - and I love it! 

This time of year, before the first ball has been placed on the tee for the very first kickoff is my absolute favorite. Why? Because I have NOTHING but optimism in my heart. My teams haven't let me down yet, my coach hasn't ticked me off, no referee has made any holding calls that cause me to chuck a pillow at the television and my dogs still look at me thinking I'm a nice lady who doesn't screech out of absolutely no where and terrify them. 

It's a GREAT time of year. 

All of these things collectively mean - IT'S FOOTBALL TIME IN AMERICA! 

I'm so happy I could cry, my favorite time of year is back in action. Today 

In honor of this momentous occasion, I've partnered with True Value to talk about my very favorite thing in the world (aside from tallying one in the win column) TAILGATING and HOMEGATING! True Value makes it so easy to shop for all of your tailgating needs, from coolers to grills to games to even SNACKS, they've got everything for you, all in one place. Which means, more time hanging with your friends and less time running all over creating looking for the various items you'll need. 














Back in the dinosaur era, aka when I was in college 10 years ago (omg) we had the luxury of having an apartment on campus with a balcony perfect for tailgating. Now, as an adult, we tailgate out of our cars. Funny how that works, huh? Back in the day - no money, tailgated from an air conditioned apartment, today - adults with jobs, tailgate out our our vehicle in the blazing sun, rain, snow and cold. Odd.

Today, I thought I'd round up a few of my MUST HAVES from True Value (all can be ordered online) for your next tailgate, or even homegate!



1. EXTRA STRENGTH COOLER
Coolers have come a long way in a short period of time. Some of the most extreme coolers that hold your ice for 10+ days are so expensive. I've found an Orca Cooler that performs just as well for a fraction of the price of the competition. 

2. INSULATED CAN/BOTTLE HOLDER
I first tried one of these in VA Beach in 90+ degree weather and it was a game changer. These are a must have to keep your drink cold while you're playing a game or jamming to your fight song. 

3. A CUTE CHAIR
Sure, you can get a plain folding chair and fit right in -- OR you could get this cool AF blue chair and be the most stylish at the tailgate .

4. GRILL TOOLS
If you don't have burgers or dogs at the tailgate, then did you even tailgate bro? Last time I checked, it is a generally poor decision to flip a burger with your bare hand. Grab some grill tools instead. 

5. JALAPEร‘O COOKER
Because we're just EXTRA like that here in Texas. 
Grab THIS jalapeรฑo cooler for a little something extra. 

6. A GRILL IN YOUR TEAM'S COLOR
I'll take a blue and an orange, pretty please! Burgers, brats and dogs for all! 

7. CORNHOLE
I recently learned a trick to cornhole. I've been tossing it wrong my whole life. As a former basketball player (think LeBron only prettier) I now shoot it like a bball rather than tossing. GENIUS, party of 1. 


8. A FOOTBALL
I've never seen a successful tailgate performed that didn't include a football to toss around. Grab this one here

9. LADDER TOSS
If you're looking for something different than cornhole or your basic football, try this ladder toss game

10. A CANOPY
Because getting rained on is literally for the birds. 
Oh, and sunburn - ew. 
You'll get enough sun at the game, do yourself a favor and grab this canopy


Y'all we are just so excited for football season that we had a home gate to get game day ready. YES- we literally, practiced for tailgating. If you see a problem with this, then I'm just not sure we can be bros anymore.
























You know the old expression, PRACTICE LIKE YOU PLAY!
NOW GET OUT THERE AND GET TO TAILGATING!
ROLL CALL, rep your team in the comments below!



01 September 2017

5 Summer Treats Under $10 in Dallas

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerIsForSavings #CollectiveBias #WFM4

Everyone keeps going on and on and on about how SUMMER IS ALMOST OVERRR, NOOOOO! But, here in Dallas, we won't have a shift in temperatures for a couple months. Heck Halloween is usually a pretty warm night for us. So, with that said, that Summer feeling is still here to stay for quite some time in Texas. With that comes Summer treats like ice cream, popsicles and for me personally, coffee. Yes, coffee is year round for me, that will never change. 

At the beginning of Summer, you might remember I partnered with Walmart Family Mobile to talk about 5 easy road trip getaway destinations you can take from Dallas. One thing I talked about in the last post is how easy it is to switch to Walmart Family Mobile and how much money you can save by doing so. The plan is just $49.88 and is TRULY an Unlimited Talk, Text, & Data◊ plan from Walmart Family Mobile, and is powered by T-Mobile's nationwide 4G LTE network. They make it so easy on you because there's no contract, no activation fees, no late fees, it's easy to start or switch and it's actually Walmart's best pricing on no contract wireless plans. 





Another awesome benefit is that customers on the $49.88 TRULY plan will receive a free VUDU** movie rental credit valued at $7.00 each time you renew your service. Personally, my cell phone bill which I have with CB is upwards of $200, so talk about a money saver. Plus, you can of course use the phone (the one pictured above is the LG Grace) to take photos, edit and post to Instagram, all while spending less money on data. It's a no brainer to switch because that gives you MORE MONEY FOR TASTY SUMMER TREATS!  

So, let's dig in. 
Here are my FIVE favorite Summer Treats in Dallas! 

1. Ice Cream Cone from Milk + Cream


2. A Berrynaked Popsicle





3. The Lavender Latte from George




4. A Cupcake From the Sprinkles ATM



5. Custard from Super Chix 




What's your go to dessert during the Summer months in your city?
Let me know in the comments, so I can write them down :P


----

No matter what you're splurging on this Summer - whether it's ice cream or a latte - be sure to document your adventures while also saving money on data by using the $49.88 TRULY Unlimited plan from Walmart Family Mobile, powered by T-Mobile! 

Find it in the electronics department at your local Walmart.




Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to this page or your local Walmart for current pricing

◊Does not include tethering. Video typically streams at DVD quality. During congestion, top 3% of users (>32GB/mo.) may notice reduced speeds due to deprioritization. Please always refer to the latest terms and conditions at myfamilymobile.com.

**Limited time offer. Available for lines active with the PLUS $49.88 plan only. VUDU enabled device and account required for digital viewing. Customers must be 18 years or older to open a VUDU account. Movie rental only available in the USA. Free movie rental provided in the form of a movie rental code to the value of a $7.00 VUDU credit. Movie rental code allows for selection from available movies for rent. May not be readily redeemable on all new releases. Code will be delivered within up to 24 hours of the effective account renewal date. Must be used within 30 days of receiving code. Offer is non-transferable. Limit 1 per customer. Additional terms and conditions on VUDU's website: http://www.vudu.com/termsofservice.html