Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

30 July 2018

The Best Mosquito Treatment Service in Dallas + A Fun Summer Backyard Party Game Idea

Thank you TruGreen for sponsoring this post.

I'm not sure what is so delicious about my skin to mosquitoes but they find it as tasty as I find a a thin crust pizza with extra cheese and extra sauce. Once May hits, I pretty much don't step foot in my back yard until about late October. I can't stand spraying bug spray because I have to use the super mega deep woods stuff and that smells so foul. I had heard a few of my friends talk about some mosquito treatment services in Dallas, but I just assumed our backyard was way too gone for that. I learned that I was very wrong when a TruGreen lawn care specialist came out last week to treat our yard for mosquitoes.

We have a massive backyard, it has so much potential for entertaining and Summer enjoyment but we just never go out there. We had a party coming up so we're so excited to not only try the TruGreen Mosquito Plus treatment our friends had told us about, but they were also going to give us a lawn care consultation. CB handles our yard, and works his butt off on it, but has struggled to keep it green, unable to understand why.

Rod met us at the house after work one day, which was super convenient that we didn't have to take time off work. He helped CB diagnose his lawn problem in legit 2 minutes. We have something called Chinch bugs which were destroying the lawn and making it impossible to grow grass. Rod told us that the mosquito treatment will actually kill those, and make our lawn ready to re-sod. He also said if we did spend the money to lay down sod without killing those first, the same problem would continue to persist forever.

Then we moved on to the mosquito treatment which was mind blowingly fast. For some reason I assumed that would take hours to do, it took about 5 minutes! TruGreen's mosquito plus treatment helps protect your family and friends from disease-carrying insects by targeting mosquitoes and ticks where they live, and ultimately eradicating them from your yard in 24 hours so that you can actually GO ENJOY THE OUTDOORS!

It's a 3 Step Process, here's how it works:
Step One: Inspect. Check your property for areas where mosquitoes are, or could be, living.
Step Two: Treat. TruGreen uses an innovative formula and targeted applications technique that works within 24 hours.
Step Three: Maintain. Receive a monthly treatment to help protect against biting mosquitoes throughout the season.

I also got a few tips from our TruGreen lawn expert Rod that you can use for keeping your lawn as green as possible this Summer:

1.Use fertilizer and weed control to eliminate weeds from your grass. 
A consistent lawn fertilizer and weed control program with TruGreen can stimulate growth and rid your lawn of bluegrass, dandelions, nettle and other allergy-producing weeds. When your weeds are eliminated, your grass can grow in a much healthier manner.

2. Water well
This one may sound obvious but watering is important and most lawns need about 1-2 inches of water per week. We live in Texas and are restricted to only watering on Sunday and Thursday nights, so make sure you are following the rules on WHEN you can water.

3. Mowing
Mow frequently to keep it weed-free and to ward off damaging insects. Never mow more than one-third off the grass height.

4. Keep mower blades sharp
Be sure to sharpen your lawnmower blades as rough blades will dry out and damage your lawn.

5. Don't miss the details to really make your lawn stand out
Edge and mulch flowerbeds and trim shrubs to keep them looking their best.

6. Tidy up 
Clear away debris, like fallen leaves, sticks and twigs and outdoor furniture and toys to help prevent unsightly dead patches made worse by the heat of the sun. 

What we will need to do to move forward with our lawn makeover is to lay new sod. Rod let us know that we will have to water the heck out of that sod, way more than twice per week. With that said, you can actually apply for a special watering permit from the city that allows you to water more than your allotted two days! This is critical seeing as 106 degree Dallas sun would totally ruin any money we spend on sod.

Now that our yard was mosquito free, we finally set up the lawn game that was EASILY THE BEST OUTDOOR PARTY GAME WE HAVE EVER PLAYED. 

You need this game in your life. We played it until the sun went down and we ran out of light that night.

Here are the two ingredients that you need for bucket basketball: 
1. Twelve 5 gallon buckets. 
We got ours for $2 a piece at firehouse subs (downside is they smell like pickles, upside is that the money goes to fire fighters)

If you prefer to not put yourself in a pickle, here they are on amazon.

1. Two Mini Basketballs
Get two different colors on Amazon HERE.

We made this game that was the hit of the party for about $46.
Can you believe that?
You play the game just like you would normal beer pong, only it's life size and way more fun.

So if you're like me and CB and you've just been putting off getting either a mosquito treatment OR a lawn consultation, give TruGreen a call. They'll arm you with everything you need to make your lawn the best in the neighborhood!

Next up for us is new sod and then Rod will come back out and help us maintain the perfect shade of green! Can't wait to show you guys some after pics!

Oh, and buy the bucket ball game and thank me later.

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

19 July 2018

Wine and LaCroix Straight to Your Door

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

Y'all, physically driving to a store is just so RETRO! It's 2018, there are way better ways to go about buying your products than actually buying them in a store, when there are websites out there like BOXED that ships all your favorite supplies right to your door.

I was just talking to some co-workers about living in NYC. First, let me say I'm never leaving Dallas. CB owns a business here, and I have a whole Instagram account that would be a total waste if I left.  This is my city - BUT - just for the sake of talking, we were discussing living in NYC.

It was only about 5 or 6 years ago when I would have said NO WAY JOSE to living in a place like NYC where no one owns a car. All I could think - what a total pain in the butt it would be to buy anything large. I also thought of the way I look when I buy 10+ bags of groceries. It's like I'm deathly allergic to making more than one trip from the 9 foot walk from my trunk to the front door. (It's really more of a lazy thing, even though it's harder work. Odd, I know.) The idea of carrying bags and bags of groceries down the streets of Manhattan while the clackers from Devil Wears Prada trot on by me without a care in the world, used to be enough to deter me alone.

But now, in 2018, with a website like Boxed that delivers larger sizes of your favorite products so you don't run out... you know, it just doesn't seem too hard anymore.

New York, Dallas, it doesn't matter. We're all wanting convenience delivered right to our front door - and it exists! What a time to be alive.
I tried my new favorite delivery service, Boxed for the first time (p.s. 👉🏻 use code: DALLAS10 for 10% off your first order and free shipping) and it did not disappoint. Unlike other retailers, they really value supporting local businesses in the area. For example, they've launched lots of great local products like Yellowbird Hot Sauce, and Express service which delivers fresh and frozen products on-demand, everything from avocados and buns to steak and seafood, perfect for summer grilling!

They actually have a local fulfillment center and a huge community in Dallas! Every box is compact on packaging, includes a handwritten note and even a free activity kit for families (mine came with a corn hole creativity kit)! Plus, premium samples with every order. Mine had almonds and hint fruit infused water. 

They have everything from LaCroix (20% cheaper than retail) to Pringles to even wine!

 What can I say, Life is Rainbows and Unicorns in 2018, kids! 

Want to take 10% off your first Boxed order plus free shipping? You don't need a membership, just use my code DALLAS10 and you're all set to start shopping! 

03 July 2018

How to Help Dogs Scared of Fireworks and Thunderstorms

Is adult onset fear of fireworks a thing? I'm talking about in dogs, of course. General is terrified of fireworks, a faulty fire alarm that won't stop beeping and thunderstorms. Occasionally he is terrified of the sound of rain on our tin roof patio which sits just outside our bedroom windows. This is all a new thing, debuting in the past 5 years at least. So, today's post is all about how you can help your dog that is scared of fireworks and thunderstorms. 

I know one thing that is very real and that's my adult onset fear of flying. I was never scared of flying six or seven years ago. Now I sit on the plane staring out the window petrified of what could (and most likely won't) happen. I flew this past weekend and all I could think about was that southwest flight where the lady got sucked out of the window. The flight didn't have a single bump, yet my heart raced for the majority of our time in the air. When I was 25 I didn't care one bit. So, I guess I see where General is coming from. 

What is it about growing up that develops new fears? Shouldn't it be the opposite? Shouldn't I know better that monsters aren't real and that the odds of dying in a plane crash is one in 11 million. Or maybe it is because I have grown up and see the world and what this world is capable of that I develop ridiculous fears. 

I wonder if Gee turns the ten o'clock doggie news on and ONE dog in 11 million died in a freak firework attack and now he's petrified?

Whatever it is, I won't judge Gee for his adult onset fear of smoke detectors, fireworks and thunderstorms. I get it, I totally do. I won't judge but I will do everything I can to help him. 

When he hears that first crack or beep, the poor little guy starts shaking and whining OUT OF CONTROL. His shaking is so hard and deep that he's like a wind up toy about to fall off the bed. Even crazier, he can tell when a thunderstorm is coming. If he comes and gets in bed in the middle of the night, he's more accurate than any meteorologist in predicting that storm on the horizon.

I have two tricks to helping him cope with his fears. 

Trick One: Drown Out the Noise. 
A few weeks ago a storm hit around 7am. CB had already left for work so I cranked the stereo volume as loud as I possibly could and Gee and I jammed out to 2 Chainz. It worked, too! He couldn't hear the cracks of thunder and thus, didn't freak out. While rap worked for Gee (he is my dog after all) it should be noted that most dogs prefer classical music or talk radio! 

A few Saturdays ago we knew a bad storm was coming our way so we loaded Gee into the car and went to our favorite brewery down the street. It's a massive warehouse size brewery with live music on Saturdays. You couldn't hear a thing outside and Gee was happy as a clam. Plus, he was the only dog there that day and got about a million pets. Dog mom of the year, party of one! 

Trick Two: Find a Hiding Spot 
A hiding spot, like a small bedroom, home office or large closet without any windows helps your pup feel like they're is a safe spot, away from the noise. A room they can run to and feel protected.

We have a spot in our house that is technically a 4th bedroom. I say technically because to be actually considered a bedroom, there must be a window and a closet. Although there is a closet, there are no windows making it a genius spot to help Gee hide out. We like to give him some food and water, a treat to let him know he is a good boy (always), as well as his little dog bed his Grandmom got him.

He also enjoys hiding in open suitcases, clothes bins and in the laundry room. He just likes to be cozy, can you really blame him?

Trick Three: ADAPTIL® For Dogs.
Obviously I won't be around for every storm that comes our way. Even worse, I'll be in Virginia this year for the 4th of July. Just because I'm not there though doesn't mean I can't help. You guys are going to thank me up and down for telling you about ADAPTIL®

Here's how it works...
ADAPTIL® is a copy of the natural canine- appeasing pheromone dogs know from birth that help dogs feel more safe and secure in their surroundings. ADAPTIL® is clinically proven* to help comfort and reassure dogs while they cope with challenging situations and help reduce and eliminate unwanted behaviors caused by stress. It essentially creates a familiarity and security which helps comfort your pup as they deal with an uncomfortable situation: aka fireworks and thunderstorms. 

There are three ways you can use ADAPTIL®. One is the Travel Spray which can be applied to your pup's bedding or favorite toy to reduce stress at home, the ADAPTIL® Calm On-the-go Collar, which is ideal for traveling,  or I'll leave the ADAPTIL® Calm Home diffuser with our pet sitter while we are gone for vacation. She can also use the spray for Gee's bed before the fireworks start.

For those who don't know - our neighborhood, Oak Cliff, literally sounds like a war zone of fireworks on July 4th. In all my time on this planet, I've never heard anything like it. I think we are the only house that doesn't shoot fireworks off on that night (and the two weeks before and after). We already heard our first firework round go off last night!

So, if you have a dog like Gee, ask your vet about ADAPTIL® for your dog. If you're unsure if your vet carries it, check out their vet locator HERE.

Thank you to ADAPTIL® for sponsoring this post. 
All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

*Data on File

02 July 2018

Two Easy Moonshine Cocktails to Rock Your July

This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx on behalf of Sugarlands Distilling Company

It's almost 4th of July my friends!  You guys know how much I absolutely love making cocktails, and what more festive holiday to whip up some (easy peasy) cocktails than for the 4th? Today I'm teaming up with Sugarlands Distilling Company to bring you not one but two easy cocktail recipes perfect for the 4th of July.

Every year, CB and I alternate where we go for both Christmas and July 4th. My mom lives in Virginia Beach, and his mom lives on Lake Granbury. As you can imagine, both are Independence Day hot spots. Thus, we alternate the holiday. Tomorrow after work, we are headed to VA Beach for nearly 5 days.

I'm particularly pumped to team up with Sugarlands Distilling Co. today though because they are located near and dear to my heart, literally! Sugarlands Distilling is located in downtown Gatlinburg, and I went to The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. My friends and I visited Gatlinburg several times a semester. After college, I stayed for another 4 years and spent even more time in the Great Smoky Mountains. It was such a fun weekend destination to pop in, go shopping at the outlet mall and visit a winery or distillery.

So when I had the opportunity to work with Sugarlands and support a local Gatlinburg business, I jumped on it! Although I haven't had the opportunity to tour their distillery yet (they opened in March 2014 - I moved to Dallas in August 2012) when you visit you can sample their spirits, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the still house and listen to live regional music on the Spirit Stage.

Sugarlands sent me two full bottles of their award winning moonshines: Pina Colada Moonshine and Blockader’s Blackberry Moonshine.  The Pina Colada combines the taste of fresh pineapple and coconut. Honestly it could be sipped on it's own it's that good! The blackberry moonshine tastes like fresh blackberries of course, but also has a hint of honeysuckle and lavender.

For the  Blockader’s Blackberry Moonshine cocktail I made a blackberry variation on the Salty Dog with grapefruit juice!

Blackberry Salty Dog
Makes One Cocktail

2 ounces Blockader's Blackberry Moonshine

4 Blackberries

1 ounce Simple Syrup

3 ounces Grapefruit Juice

2 Blackberries for Garnish

Sugar Rim

1 Lime Wedge for Sugar Rim


Begin by using a lime wedge to rim glass with sugar, then fill glass with ice. In your cocktail shaker, muddle your blackberries, add simple syrup, moonshine and grapefruit juice. Shake vigorously. Strain into glass over ice and serve! 

Champagne Moonshine Cocktail
Makes One Cocktail

2 ounces Sugarlands Pina Colada Moonshine 

Mixed Berries

Champagne Top


Muddle mixed berries (I used blueberries and raspberries) with moonshine and chill. When ready to serve, top with champagne! Legit, that easy.