Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

24 October 2018

How to Spend the Day In Fort Worth

I've been spending a lot of time in Fort Worth lately because I just recently launched Fort Worth Love List. It's just a 30 minute (depending on traffic, that is) drive from Dallas to Fort Worth, so it was really a no brainer to launch this new account. Don't sleep on Fort Worth, in a lot of ways it's as cute as Dallas, if not cuter. There are so many Instagram worthy murals and the foodie scene is on point. So if you've got a day trip to Fort Worth planned or have some time to kill before a TCU football game, there are so many fun things to do in Fort Worth!



In all honesty I can credit CB for the Fort Worth Love List launch, and for pushing me to build more Love List accounts. Sometimes it takes someone else believing in you for you to realize you should be going after a goal!

No road trip (big or small) is complete without a mode of transportation. For this blog post, I've  teamed up with my friends at Toyota who lent me the SWEETEST 2018 TRD Off Road 4Runner. Although I drive an SUV, it's nothing compared to this cool AF vehicle. Driving is generally highly monotonous to me, but the 4Runner brought back the fun.

I'm not joking with what I'm about to say - I had to go off road mural hunting. Yes, you read that right. EXTREME MURALING, Y'ALL! This is an advanced maneuver that I wouldn't recommend unless you have the 4Runner TRD. LOLOLOL.

But really the road was closed, it was ripped up and muddier than the relationship between me and the University of Kentucky. Ok, JK, it wasn't that muddy but it was a tough mural to get to for any normal car. The 4Runner plowed right through and I found myself on the way to hundreds of Instagram likes in no time.




Ok, all jokes aside though, this Toyota is my new favorite and I thoroughly considered trying to give them my current car when it was time to make the return, in hopes they didn't notice.

So pull on those Cowboy boots (p.s. no one wears cowboy boots in Dallas, despite popular opinion) and join me on a day in Fort Worth excursion with my friends at Toyota!


8AM || DONUTS
DONUTS AT FUNKY TOWN DONUTS
I have to start the morning with a little something in my belly. I'm not a "skip breakfast" kinda gal, so I suggest starting with a donut to hold you over until brunch. They have two locations, but the cutest one (with a lot more flavor options) is located in Sundance Square.



9AM || COFFEE
COFFEE AT AMPERSAND 

There is the cutest coffee shop just off 7th called Ampersand. If you really want to get wild, grab the nitro cold brew, if you're not really into your heart racing out of your chest then perhaps their lavender vanilla latte.

Based on my photo below, I enjoy the self-induced heart racing.




10AM || BROWSE THE CLEARFORK FARMER'S MARKET
SUPPORT LOCAL, BUY LOCAL

Clearfork has so many great vendors at the Farmer's Market, everything from produce to spices to olive oil and succulents and a cheese vendor. It's open year round on Saturdays from 8am - 12pm!



12PM || BRUNCH AT SNOOZE
SNOOZE NOW OPEN IN FORT WORTH

One of Texas and Colorado's most popular brunch and breakfasts spots is now open in Fort Worth! Their menu is massive, so come ready to eat and I recommend trying a few different things for the table to share. All of the Benedict's are amazing and you can't go wrong with one of their varieties of Bloody Mary!

2PM || MURAL HOP ON THE SAME BLOCK
THE FOUNDRY DISTRICT IS MURAL LOVER'S GOLD

The Foundry District is home to Inspiration Alley, the coolest row of the most colorful, back to back to back murals. Bring a Cowboy hat as a prop and get to snapping the perfect IG pic!

3PM || HIT HEIM BBQ
IT'S BEEN 3 HOURS, TIME TO EAT AGAIN 

A day of food in Fort Worth in a marathon not a sprint. I like to hit as many places as possible and split stuff with whoever is joining me for the day. You can't talk Fort Worth Food and not talk about Heim BBQ. I am not a fan of lines, so I try to hit off peak hours, like 11am or 3pm!



4PM || PLANT SHOP
CRAZY PLANT LADIES ARE SO IN RN

A plant shop out of an airstream is what Instagram dreams are made of. Be sure to walk off that BBQ from Heim and skip a couple of blocks down Magnolia to Grow Plant Shop.

5PM || SMALL PLATES AND A COCKTAIL
THE LA ZONA COMPOUND IS PRECIOUS 

The La Zona "compound" on Magnolia is the cutest thing ever.  Made up of a coffee shop (with ice cream churros) called Saint Sofia, and a tapas, pizza and beer restaurant called Hotel Madrid. The perfect place to duck in for a cocktail and a small plate snack.






6PM || GRAB A BEER AND A VIEW
TEXANS LOVE CRAFT BEER, Y'ALL

Martin House Brewing is a great spot to hang out for a craft beer on a Saturday afternoon. Have a couple of beers and catch a sunset on the skyline during golden hour!

7PM || BURGERS IN THE STOCKYARDS Y'ALL
YEE HAW

The sun goes down and it's finally time boot scoot and boogie. If you take a trip to Fort Worth and don't go to the stockyards, you're doing it wrong. Personally, for dinner, I say avoid the expensive steak houses and grab a (way cheaper) burger from the always on point Love Shack by Tim Love. The vibe there is fantastic too, with great live music acts throughout the day.

Or, if you don't despise lines like I do, the world famous Joe T. Garcias is a MUST VISIT for uncomplicated, classic Tex Mex. They obviously know a thing or two seeing as they've been around since 1935 and are the proud recipients of the James Beard Foundation award for Excellence.


8PM - ????????|| LINE DANCE AT BILLY BOB'S
THE WORLD'S LARGEST HONKEY TONK 

This place is G-I-A-N-T. They always have live music and line dancing, aka what I like to call the lazy river of the bar world.  There are about a billion bars to grab a drink from, you can play pool, ride a mechanical bull, shop in their massive store - sky is the limit here. It's a must visit to end your night when you're visiting FW!


So there you have it, a day in Fort Worth for all you Dallasites (or for any outsider, really!) wanting to make the drive to Cow Town! Huge thank you to my friends at Toyota for helping me get around (and off road mural hunt) in style!

Want even more fun Fort Worth ideas? Be sure to follow Fort Worth Love List for the best food, cocktails and murals in the area!



20 September 2018

6 Ways To Maximize Your Team Fandom When You Live Out of State

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FootballFanGame #FiredUpFans

It has been SIX YEARS this Labor Day since I moved to Dallas from Tennessee. I haven't been immersed in my beloved college town for six whole years, but that doesn't mean that my fandom is any less. On the contrary, absence does certainly make the heart grow fonder but, I've learned a few tips and tricks along the way to bring my college team's spirit right here to Dallas. I'm teaming up with my friends at Dr Pepper and Walmart today to bring you some tips on how I maximize my  team's fandom living out of state.


Rule One || Make a playlist to kickstart your Gameday. 

This should feature songs that make you feel like you're in college all over again. Songs that bring you back to your roots. A lot of times you can even track down mp3's of your team's actual marching band performing live. I like to include my team's fight song, some songs about the state of Tennessee and some of the classics I remember belting at the top of my lungs while we played corn hole in the hours leading up to kickoff. 


Anything that takes me back, I add it to the list and play it first thing in the morning while I watch sports coverage of the day's games.

Rule Two || Utilize Your Alum Club

Who wants to watch the games solo? Or even worse, who wants to watch your games at a restaurant with potentially the enemy team's fans. I sure as heck don't. 

Instead, I joined our team's alum club here in Dallas. We all meet as a group to watch the games. All of the tables have pom poms, they do giveaways for apparel during halftime and the proceeds go to the alum club organization. 

I can scream at any decibel level I desire and not get judged because you're a screaming nutcase. 

Rule Three || Convert Your Friends

This rule is crucial, or else you might need to consider finding new friends. If your friends don't like your team, convert them. It's like the opposite of if you can't beat em, join em! 
Since my team isn't in-state, it was an easy sell. We aren't rivals, so they are now able to root for their team - AND - for my team! Win win! Everyone comes over to our house to watch my team's games, and we also watch theirs. It's a win win. 
Rule Four || Know The League

What do you do in the morning when you're getting ready for work? Listen to music? Nothing? Zone out to infomercials? Or God forbid.... watch the news (gasp!). Start getting ready while sports news is on your television. You don't have to actually watch sports news twelve times in a row, like a dude, to get something out of it. Listen, do your makeup, glance up occasionally when they're doing the top 10 plays of the day.... voila, you'll start the day armed with all of the sports knowledge you really need to be the best fan possible.

Rule Five || Follow Your Team On Every Social Platform 

Being out of state, you miss out on the pulse of your school's town. Following them on social allows a BTS glimpse of how it feels to be right in the thick of things. Also, go a little deeper and find some beat reporters (basically reporters who ONLY write about your team) to follow on social. Watch their Instagram stories before you get up and get your day started, it'll get you hyped for game day.

Rule Six || When it Doubt, Grill It Out

If all else fails, throw your own dang party! It's your party and you can scream at whatever defensive back that you want to. When you throw a tailgate in your own backyard it's way more comfortable anyway, and you can BYOD (bring your own dog - both of the hot and K9 variety). Veenie and I are prepping for our big season kick off party where all of our friends are coming over to celebrate. We have about 6 couple friends who all bring their dogs and we have a howling good time. Puns all intended. 

I like to pop over to Walmart for all of my tailgate needs, especially if there is any kind of grilling involved. The season kickoff tailgate is always my favorite because I'm not yet annoyed or depressed by my team. The season kickoff tailgate is good food, good times and SMILES all around with all of our friends hanging out, playing lawn games and cheering on our teams. Talk to me about smiles come November, we'll see if I'm still grinning from ear to ear - LOLS!

For this tailgate I got the essentials: Dr Pepper® - the official drink of college football fans, Kingsford® Original Charcoal which is super easy to light and always maintains consistent flavor, and Hidden Valley® Ranch Dressing, which is perfect for salads, veggies (I picked up cauliflower) and even meats!


You of course NEVER EVER want to be grilling while the game is on, but a little pre-kickoff hot dog and Dr Pepper never hurt anyone! This is why I love shopping at Walmart, I only had to make one stop and I got everything I need for our party and friends that come over in a matter of 10 minutes. Less time shopping, more time to put my game face on! Once kickoff hits though, all bets are off. I'm inside, on the couch with LASER FOCUS. No calls pls. Unless Veenie is calling, I always answer for Veenie kisses.


Can you smell the sweet scent of football season from these pictures? Burgers, dogs, the sound of the Dr Pepper can popping open and all of our friends screaming while watching the game in our living room. We had the most fun take a big whiff y'all, football !

Happy football season, friends. May your wins be prevalent .......... unless you're playing my team that is.

Are you ready to fire up your gameday???
Find new recipe ideas and get inspired and FIRED UP for gameday by clicking HERE

13 September 2018

His and Her Small Bedroom Closet Makeover with The Container Store Organization Studio in Dallas


I am the least organized person in the history of the world. Ok, maybe that is dramatic but I'm certainly the messiest, least organized person in blog land. Everyone else seems to have a tidy nook for every trinket. I, on the other hand have a ton of trinkets that are usually thrown all over the floor. We live in a remodeled old house with old bones and old-style tiny master bedroom closets. The space is small and the organization is non-existent. Thanks to the Organization Studio which is only available at The Container Store’s new Next Generation Store in Dallas, they helped me complete revamp, organize and maximize my small master bedroom closet and makeup desk.

Before I jump into the actual insane transformation that The Container Store managed to pull off for me, you need some background on me as an organized, tidy person. 

I was that kid in school with the messy desk that got called out at parent teacher conference. I have always been messy, it's just in my blood, part of who I am as a person. 

In my 31 years on this planet, I've never actually had a system in place to help with my messiness. I've been to The Container Store in the past but never really taken it seriously past getting a couple of hangers for my skirts or a bin to use in the bathroom. 

Their Northwest Highway location across from North Park Mall got a massive, tech savvy makeover and debuted their new Organization Studio. This studio was MADE FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME. It's made for the person who walks into The Container Store, lovingly admires all of the organization tools, but then gets overwhelmed because they have zero idea how to execute.

SPECIAL: When you make an appointment and meet 1-on-1 with an Organization Expert by 10/31, mention code ORGSTUDIO10 at the register for 10% off the in-store purchase of your solution (exclusions apply). 
*Disclaimer: This is only available at the Northwest Highway store in Dallas


Here's how it works: 
1. Identify an area of your home that's a challenge to keep organized. 
For me that was all of it but for the sake of time we'll say the master closets and my makeup area. Oh, and did I mention I married someone as unorganized as me. Yeah, CB is in the messy boat with me. 

2. Upload Images and Describe Your Challenge
You can do this all on their Organization Studio website! 

3. Meet One-On-One 
This is all totally free. You'll meet an expert in store (we met with Chris!) who will analyze your space from the photos and challenges you described, then offer a complete solution with a variety of their products. 

I didn't have to do any of the hard work which was figuring out WHAT it was I need to get that small space organized. I just had to physically tackle the project. Chris picked out everything she knew would make my life easier, from a place to my shoes, to extra (stylish) storage everywhere, and a place for every last item. 

It was REALLY COOL! 
Ok let me show you what we did! 

MAKEUP AREA
CHALLENGES: I had no storage at all. Everything was thrown everywhere and it was a giant mess. Anyone who saw that in person would seriously be disgusted by me. I'm SORRY GUYS I AM JUST CHALLENGED WITH ORGANIZATION! 

Chris saved the day by suggesting this acrylic makeup organizer which gave me a place for everything from eyeshadow to lipstick and makeup brushes. If you get ONE THING to help you with your makeup area, get that. 

BEFORE whoa boy




AND AFTER! 
WOWOWOWOWOWOWOOWOWOWOW






|| PRODUCTS USED ||



HER CLOSET
CHALLENGE: My closet is tiny with no place for shoes. I had the shoes on crappy shelving I had from my very first apartment. It looked like a terrible mess. 

BEFORE

AFTER
voilaaaaaaaa



and saving the best for last....

HIS CLOSET
CHALLENGE: CB is me in guy form. Drew had the largest collection of incredibly assorted wire hangers I'd ever seen. He also was holding on to super old clothes that needed to be donated. ALSO - I was blown away by the number of items he felt compelled to hang on a hanger. 

We were able to move tons of shirts to the drawers to free up room so he could actually see what clothing he owned. 

This "after" shot certainly packs the most bang for your buck! 

BEFORE

AFTER 
IT IS SO GOOD GUYS!! 

|| PRODUCTS USED ||

White elfa Wide 7-Runner Frame White, elfa Wide Mesh 1-Runner White and elfa Wide Mesh 2-Runner White, with elfa Wide Melamine Top White

White 2 Tier Stackable Mesh Shelf

4 Shelf Shoe Stacker in White

Joy Huggable Hangers

Farmhouse Storage Box and Cube

32 compartment drawer organizer

Linen Drop Front Sweater Box and Purse Box


So, how did we do?!?!!? Thank the lord for two people. One, my mom who helped me tackle this project while she was visiting last weekend.... and Chris from The Container Store Organization Studio! 

Stay tuned because there's one more project I'm going to tackle for you guys, my office! 

Have you been wanting help with a project but didn't know where to start? You're in luck because The Container Store has so graciously offered 10% off an in-store purchase to my DFW readers when you make an appointment and meet 1-on-1 with an Organization Expert at the Northwest Highway store in Dallas by 10/31! Just mention code ORGSTUDIO10 at the register for the discount (exclusions apply).



Thank you so much to The Container Store for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.