Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

05 February 2018

5 Takeaways from Super Bowl 52

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

Today is just the worst possible day. Today is the first day in a very long draught without a single drop of football. I mean, sure there's the draft in a couple of months (WHICH IS IN DALLAS, and yes it'll be my mission to secure tickets to this) but there won't be a lick of head to head matchups until SEPTEMBER. OMGGGGGG. Ugh.

I love basketball and baseball, but nothing beats football season. And by that I of course mean, nothing beats Fantasy Football season. Alas, I can be patient for many moons until I'm reunited again with my one true love.

All in all, I found the Super Bowl last night to be one of the best in recent years. The game was great, halftime was great and a handful of the commercials were HILARIOUS! Here are 5 takeaways I have from Super Bowl 52.

1. Our Party Spread DID NOT DISAPPOINT! 
I just love food, y'all! Our group of friends totally killed it. There was queso, guac, tons of chips, tons of various dips, nothing low cal or gluten free and a smorgasbord of Girl Scout cookies.

I'm a terrible cook (no one assigned me to anything, legit) but I had a secret weapon that I brought to the party to impress everyone. I got this really cool new grill from Johnsonville called the Sizzling Sausage Grill. It is absolutely a must have for any big game party, from football to march madness to baseball.

When I say this was easy, I'm not joking. You literally pull the Johnsonville sausage out of the package, place each one in the sausage shaped crevice on the grill, close the lid and hit start. There is a sensor inside that knows when your sausage is the perfect temperature, and it only takes 15 minutes. The sausages cook evenly and the juices and flavor don't escape. You can do anywhere from 1- 5 sausages at a time.

I don't care if you're a gourmet cook or a total novice like me, you need this grill in your kitchen. Find it here for less than $80!

I bought the hot and spicy flavor of brats, and came prepared with lots of hot dog buns. THEN, you won't believe what I did next after they were done cooking.  

I POURED QUESO ALL OVER THE BRAT. If that isn't a game day pro-tip, I don't know what is.

2. Why no N'SYNC though?  
I was literally screaming for N'SYNC the entire half time. I was like, here they come... NOW! Ok, maybe NOW? NOW? WHERE IS N'SYNC????? GAHHHHH!

I just knew JT would bring the boys out for a reunion. I couldn't believe that didn't happen. It somewhat overshadowed my halftime experience, but Justin was still great.

Also, I'd like to get his step tracker count from his performance. Did that man walk all over Minnesota during the show?? I think so....

3. One Play Was Better Than The Rest
I don't think I've ever laughed so hard.

4. I'm Sorry I Just Didn't Get It
The ODB + Eli commercial that channeled Dirty Dancing? What was that? Now, I can already hear you guys who are Giants fans (I know there are a bunch of you reading) that'll call me a Cowboy hater. But HONESTLY, I'm sorry I just didn't get the hype. In fact, I assumed everyone would have been trashing it on social, only to open my Facebook and find out that everyone FREAKING LOVED IT! Mind blown.

5. Tide
I was probably the most annoying person ever at our party, because I just continuously guessed if it was a Tide commercial or not. 9 out of 10 times, I seemed to be correct! Tide won the Super Bowl, IMO!

So those were my takeaways, what were yours??
Did you like the Giants commercial? What commercial was your favorite??

Also, I don't watch This is Us, I'm very sorry. If I ever start, I'll let you know.

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

02 February 2018

The Snack-hack for the Gal Who Doesn't Cook but Loves to Party

This post is sponsored by on behalf of popchips®

The dreaded group text.... dun dun dunnnnnn. At any given time I'm in as many as 1,578 group texts about any number of subjects. I exaggerate, but only a little. I normally tune out in group texts (I'm sorry y'all, they're just so hard to keep up with) but group texts that I never tune out are regarding parties, particularly of the football watching variety.

My girlfriend Larissa started a group text about this Sunday's big game watch party at her house. For the first time since last year, I haven't cared a lick about the final two teams standing.
Can they both lose, she thought to herself 🤔

Ok what was I saying?? Oh yes, the group text! Ok so we've all been talking about what everyone is going to bring for the party. Someone claims pigs in a blanket, another person claims 7 layer dip. Then one of my friends makes the joke, "Sarah, no worries, we know you don't have any cooking abialities, just bring your smiling self!" 

UHHH RUDE TICKET. I do too have cooking abilities! Oh wait, that's right, I actually don't.

So I said back in the text, "Just you wait guys, I have something up my sleeve that is going to blow your mind on Sunday. You'll all be raving at the end of the game."

So what am I bringing, you ask? Well first of all I'm going to bring beer for everyone. Because I'm just really nice like that and because I like to win people over with booze. It's quite the talent, IMO!

BUT ALSO, I'm bringing about 10 bags of my new favorite obsession, popchips!

Ok so these chips are the bomb. They are never fried and contain only real ingredients, plus there are no trans fats, cholesterol, or preservatives, and there is nothing artificial. My favorite flavors are the Zesty Jalapeño Cheddar and the Buffalo Ranch Ridges.

Ok so I have a funny story. I never really thought I liked spicy foods. CB LOVES spice, the more pain his lips are in from a jalapeño, the better in his mind. I've always shied away though because I thought I didn't like it. Well, the other day I finally gave in and tried CB's spicy ramen and I fell in love. It was DELICIOUS and I kicked myself for not letting spice into my life for so long.

In the words of the Spice Girls, the Zesty Jalapeño Cheddar will legit spice up your life. My first bite I was like WHOA, these have a kick and dang they are delicious. Nothing that'll make you run for the hills looking for a water well, but just enough to make that beer you're washing it down with taste all the more delicious.

So, if you're like me and are known as the "non-cook" of the group, you don't have any go-to dips, casseroles or special pies everyone demands at every party,  grab a few bags of popchips for your game watch party and thank me later!

Easy peasy, y'all! Oh, and bring beer too. People really like the person that brings beer. #ProTip

This post is sponsored by on behalf of popchips®

24 January 2018

5 Simple Changes to Make in 2018 to Lose Weight

Photo by Ellen Ashton

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

I think there is a direct correlation between Dallas Love List's following and my waist line. As much fun as I have working on Dallas Love List (I really do, it's my favorite thing ever, I'm so proud of that account) it is a significant problem for my weight and health. I eat out 5 times per week, and then on those 6th and 7th nights, I'm probably grabbing something from somewhere like Jimmy Johns or a grab and go street noodle place I love called Monkey King because I have so much work to catch up on. It's really bad, I need to make a change if I want to feel confident on our wedding day which is right around the corner, March 3rd! 

If there's one thing I've learned about myself, it's that gigantic overhauls don't seem to work. If I say, "Ok, I'm ONLY going to eat low cal, low carb, healthy fruits and vegetables from here on out" then I'll be doomed by dinner. No, I need something more simple that doesn't feel like I'm stripping myself of deliciousness and fun. I completely understand that I will never be 140 pounds again, that is not an achievable weight for me, but I'd love to lose 15-20 pounds and be a comfortable, maintainable size. I don't need to change the world, just need to make some simple adjustments. 

Here are 10 simple changes I'm going to make in 2018 to help me lose weight! 

I used to drink tons and tons of water, but lately I'm so busy that I wouldn't be surprised if I came home after a long day and realized I had only 1 glass of water all day. I'm going to force myself to drink more by using an app that sends push notification reminders to drink more water. 

App Suggestion: Waterlogged

Number of snacks I generally have at work with me for when hunger strikes: ZERO! I never come prepared with snacks, and because of that I end up overeating at lunch and for sure overeating at dinner.

I'm teaming up with Walgreens today to tell you about a product that is going to help you snack smarter, but also make you feel like you're really getting to indulge in something totally delicious. The Nice food and beverage products are fantastic for a health-health-conscious family (or an engaged 31 year old blogger, wink wink) on the go. They're simple, honest and delicious, and couldn't be easier to get your hands on, seeing as they're located at Walgreens.

Nice!® believes in celebrating the good in every day, in every food, offering a range of healthier products that nourish the body, and delicious treats that elevate the spirits. They offer a wide range of balanced food and beverages that feature great tastes and you can feel good about it. Essentially, you'll be living well for less. The result, no PHO’s, no trans fats and striving to use real ingredients and reducing artificial ingredients.

As if shopping for these products could possibly be easier (they're legit located all over the store) they've put the quick nutritional facts on the top right corner so you know just what you're buying.

Learn more about the Nice!® HERE!

I can't just keep saying yes to every single free meal that graces my inbox. I need to find a contributor I trust to cover food and drink events for me. This is tough, because I am pretty particular on my feed, but I feel confident that I can find someone who both loves food and loves photography! My friend Ally and I work great together! Then, I can still have content for Dallas Love List, but can cook a healthy meal at home.

My biggest point here is to ask for help when you need it. If you need a virtual assistant, get one. If you need an intern, get one! We take on too many things all at once, don't be afraid to say no and ask for help!

I can't tell you how often I hit snooze or cancel a workout class because I'm a lazy butt! If I just get my butt out of bed and get to a spin or kickboxing class I'll feel so much better the rest of the day. Plus, it takes the stress off trying to get to a class after work and fighting rush hour.

Getting out of bed is so simple, but will make a gigantic difference for me.

Yes, I just referenced Big Sean, but those are wise words. If you fall off the wagon, all is not lost for the whole day! I promise you, just bounce back at the next meal. This is MY BIGGEST PROBLEM. If I mess up at lunch I treat that like permission to just blow it all again at dinner since I already screwed up.

Instead, if you messed up at lunch, have a small dinner. All is not lost, no mistake can't be fixed. In fact, take mistake out of your vocabulary. If you ate something delicious that might have more calories than you hoped, remember it fondly and MOVE ON - BOUNCE BACK! 

What are your fitness and health goals for 2018!?
We are in this together, you lean on me and I'll lean on you, do we have a deal there?

Let me know your plan for getting healthy this year, in the comments below!

06 January 2018

5 Inexpensive Places to Warm Up This Winter in Dallas

You guys know how much I love Dallas. More often than not you can find me all over the metroplex - mostly eating - but I'm always on the hunt for the cool new spot, the best new murals or the best deals in town! I'm partnering up with RaceTrac today to bring you 5 Inexpensive Places to Warm up This Winter in Dallas!

1. Snuggle Over Chocolate Fondue at Sablon Chocolate Lounge

This place has soooo much chocolate available! They have the craziest, most jam packed full of chocolate milkshakes, but who wants a milkshake when it's cold out?

No, grab your sweetie, snuggle close and share the chocolate fondue which is available in: dark, milk or white rich, creamy, thick milk chocolate. It comes with a variety of dipping instruments including pineapples, seasonal fruits, marshmallows and bananas!

2. Grab a seat by the fire at The Adolphus
Ok, I know I work here but hear me out, it's just the best. Bring your laptop in the middle of the day and get some work done (we love when people do that, you don't have to be a guest to come lounge) or order a drink and app from the City Hall Lobby bar and post up next to one of two fire places in the lobby!

3. Grab some HOT Ramen at Oni Ramen
While, yes, I seem to instantly crush on anything that opens in Deep Ellum, Oni Ramen is so good that after I had it for lunch, I seriously contemplated going back and having it for dinner again. The only thing that stopped me was the embarrassment of going back again for a second time in 6 hours. Still regretting that decision, I should have gone.

Bowls are served piping hot and it goes straight to your soul!

4. Have a Hot Toddy at Whitehall Exchange
My favorite neighborhood watering hole makes THE BEST hot toddys. They come out with steam pouring off the top, and they are an instant jolt of coziness! Plus, you'll probably see me there if you're there on a Saturday night! Ask for RJ, he's the best!

5. Build Your Own Coffee Masterpiece at RaceTrac
I get coffee, without fail, every single morning on the way to work. It's my favorite way to get my day started, I get excited when it's coffee time. Visiting trendy coffee shops is EXPENSIVE though, and we are obviously planning for a March wedding!

RaceTrac coffee is only $1 during the month of January. This includes any size, any blend and any add-ins. RaceTrac’s “Crazy Good Coffee” bar offers up to six blends of fresh brewed coffee, everything from Columbian, to Dark Roast, to Decaf, to Guatemalan, to Hazelnut and of course Regular. All of these flavors are made from 100 percent Arabica beans.

Guests can be their own baristas, selecting their favorite coffee blend and pairing it with their
favorite creamers, sweeteners and add-ins like whipped cream. And from Jan. 1-31, every single cup and combination is only $1! SCORE!

Need more convincing?
Here is an awesome infographic the team at RaceTrac put together on just how much more buzz you can get for your buck at RaceTrac!

Spoiler: there is pizza below 😍

Thank you to RaceTrac for sponsoring this post! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

RaceTrac coffee photo credit: Brandon Does Dallas

04 January 2018

Long Overdue Life Update

I'm sure most of you have assumed I've disappeared for good, never to be heard from again except for the occasional Instagram post. I would venture to guess that if you follow me on Dallas Love List, you have come to the conclusion that I've since invested my time in that venture. To answer both of those questions: I hope that isn't true and that might be true. Dallas Love List is just so easy to run, the content is limitless and although it does feel like a new "localized" blogger/instagrammer pops up every 15 seconds, the market just really isn't oversaturated like it is in lifestyle blogging. 

Wait, lifestyle blogging, what the heck is lifestyle blogging even anymore anyways? I started Venus Trapped in Mars in February of 2013, blogging was CRAZY different then. Photos really didn't matter. I could open my laptop in the morning and crank out a post in an hour or two that was full of *gasp* WORDS! 

Although I don't think those days are totally gone, I do think photos are paramount now. I can't tell you the number of times I surprised someone when I told them I had THIS blog, they just thought I was on Instagram. That's nuts to me, and really damn sad. 

So yes, I did take a step back from this blog for a bit - months actually. I've been struggling for a year with trying to figure out what my purpose on this blog is. What IS a lifestyle blog anymore. I don't really travel too much, I don't do fashion posts, I don't cook. What is my point here on this internet? I'm not really sure, I need to figure it out otherwise Venus Trapped in Mars will cease to exist. 

I'll work on that, I promise. I have some ideas up my sleeve, we will see if I bring them to life or not. Time is a crazy thing you know, because I feel like I have none of it! 

WHY do I have no time? 

WELL - that brings me to the life update that I told you I'd update you on back in late September. Yup, over 3 months ago. Whoopsies on that. 

No I'm not pregnant, I drink too much for that to be a valid possibility. CB did not get a new job, we are not moving. CB owns a business in Denton, just outside Dallas so we are not going anywhere, probably ever and I'm A Ok with that! I love this city so much and I'm ok to be here for the rest of my days on this earth. 

A couple of people guessed that I quit my job to blog full time and while that is the MOST FLATTERING GUESS EVER, I think I'd need to put out a few more posts and a bit more content for that to be successful. If you thought I quit my job to run Dallas Love List, well to that I say BLESS YOUR HEART because Dallas Love List brings in very little income, it's mostly just free food and booze, which is fabulous with me. 

Nope, not one person guessed what my life announcement is! 

Back in September, I put in my two weeks notice with a company that I absolutely adored, Tohatsu Outboards. I loved that company, and I cried very hard when I gave them my notice, and then absolutely balled on my final exit from the building. They were so wonderful to me, and I will forever be grateful for my 5 years with them. Five 11 day trips to Miami, five trips to Canada, five photoshoots spent on the water for 2 weeks at a time. 

I really loved that job, and I was NOT looking for something new. 
Something new found me though while I was looking on The Adolphus website regarding some details for our wedding on March 3rd. 

There it sat, Social Media Manager. Wait - they're hiring a social media manager at our wedding hotel??? At the hotel I absolutely adore and cherish and holds a special place in my heart? And full time SOCIAL MEDIA of all things??? 

I had to go for it. After a two month long process, I accepted the position at The Adolphus and it was the best decision I think I've ever made, career wise. Every single day flies by, which is a dream come true for me. I hate being bored, but here it's like I blink and all of a sudden the day is done. 

I'm so overjoyed to be working with such an amazing team too. When I moved to Dallas I didn't know a soul. When I started at Tohatsu, I thought I'd make friends there but as only one of 4 girls in the whole building, that didn't exactly happen. It's just so damn cool that I get to come to work and have FRIENDS AT WORK! 

I'm so happy with my life right now, and I'm so sorry it took me so long to write this post. I was avoiding doing Instagram stories at work because I felt I owed you this post first! FINALLY, here it is!!!!! 

So, if you want to, come follow along! It'll be just like following me, if I were to post content 😂