Dallas Mom Blog and Fort Worth Mom Blogger: Trendy Mom Reviews
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Monday, October 14, 2019

Visit Press Waffle Company at Legacy Food Hall in Plano


When you think of Texas, I bet that some of the things that come to mind are blue bonnets, longhorns, cowboy hats, brisket, and pecan pie.  In my mind, I've added one more thing to this list - Press Waffle Company.  This trendy restaurant created a new obsession for Texans (or visitors to Texas) thanks to their amazing waffles and toppings!  There are three locations in Texas and one in Oklahoma. (I'll count Oklahoma in this new Texas tradition since we are neighbors.) Let me share the details.

You may have heard about Press Waffle Company on Shark Tank or in one of many articles. As I mentioned, they have four locations - Plano, Fort Worth, Houston, and Oklahoma City.  I visited the location in Plano at the Legacy Food Hall. 



The Press Waffle Company offers Liege Waffles. These are popular in Europe and I'm not sure why we don't see them more often in the U.S., but luckily, Press Waffle Company has us covered!  When I visited, I thought that breakfast would be their busiest time of day.  There were quite a few people there, but I found out that 7pm onward is typically their busiest time of day. I guess that many people go out on date nights and end the evening with sweet treats from Press Waffle Company.   It's such a great idea for an evening out. (Plus, the food hall also has alcoholic drinks which complements the desserts well if you want to visit for a drink and dessert.)  In any case, the employee who worked there was very friendly and outgoing. He seemed like a perfectionist who carefully paid attention to detail on each order. It was also interesting that he told me that he typically completes each order in about 6 minutes. If you are local, you know that this speed of service separates them from many other competitors. 



Let me share a few photos of menu items. The #1 most popular item is The House. This waffle is served with strawberries, nutella, cookie butter, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream. You may optionally add vanilla ice cream. (I definitely recommend the ice cream.)



The #2 most popular item is The Soulman which is chicken and waffles. They also add syrup, and bacon. My preschooler says that this waffle rocks his world!



The Happy Camper is a great option for S'mores lovers. This waffle is topped with S'mores cookie butter, toasted marshmallows, and chocolate syrup. My son added colorful sprinkles and vanilla ice cream. 



Finally, they offer a unique special each month. This month's is a Pumpkin Pie Waffle with pumpkin spiced cream cheese, chocolate syrup, and candied pecans. My pumpkin spice obsessed heart loves this waffle!




I hope that you enjoyed this glimpse into our visit to Press Waffle Company.  This is a unique restaurant that we hope that you have the opportunity to visit as well!
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Friday, October 11, 2019

Enter the Wayfair Wayfur Halloween Pet Costume Contest for a Chance to Win


Halloween is just a few weeks away! If you are excited to dress your pet for Halloween, you'll love the adorable Wayfair Wayfur Halloween Pet Costume Contest that includes a chance to win a $500 gift card to Wayfair!  Personally, I'm obsessed because this contest is adorable. When I have a break in my workday, I check here to look at the photos of trendy pets in Halloween costumes. 

Here is how it works:
  • Get your pet dressed in their spookiest (or funniest) costume and snap a pic!
  • Entries will be accepted until 11/1/19.
  • The lucky winners will be announced on 11/4/19.
    • First prize: $500 Wayfair gift card
    • Second prize: $250 Wayfair gift card
    • Third prize: $100 Wayfair gift card
  • All entrants will be featured in a photo gallery here!
To enter, send your name (and a link to your blog if you have one), your pet's name, and your photo to WayfurCostumeContest@wayfair.com. Don't forget to attach your photo to the email!

Visit Wayfair for the full terms and conditions of Wayfair. Keep in mind that the photo must be your own and not modified in any way and the entry must be submitted via email to be eligible.

Good luck! I hope that one of our trendy readers wins this contest.  Personally, I look forward to browsing the entries in the days that lead up to Halloween!

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Best Harry Potter Holiday Gift Ideas #HolidayGiftGuide


If you follow regularly, you know that I live for the holiday season. I love finding the perfect gifts to make people feel special. In today's post, I'll focus on the best Harry Potter gift ideas for the holiday season.  Harry Potter fans will love everything from an Invisibility Cloak to a Coding Wand.  Let's get started!

 

The first item is the Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak. This is seriously amazing. Let me share the product description:
Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak Appear to disappear! Using the Invisibly App by Wow! Stuff (included) you can recreate iconic scenes from the Harry Potter films. To start enjoying the Invisibly Cloak Illusion Costume, simply cover yourself, family, friends or even objects with the Invisibility Cloak. View, photograph or film yourself through the app on your phone or tablet (not included) and set your imagination free. You won’t believe your eyes! Age: 6+ MSRP: Standard Cloak - $59.99 Deluxe Cloak - $69.99 Availability: August 2019 at Walmart and Amazon Canadian Availability: Toys R Us, Indigo, EB Games Canadian MSRP: Standard Cloak – $79.99 Deluxe Cloak - $99.95 

This Invisibility Cloak is childhood magic. My children had a blast with it. I loved hearing their giggles and seeing them bond as they created little skits in the invisibility cloak.  This is a must-have item for Harry Potter fans because it creates happy childhood memories.



The next Harry Potter gift idea is a Mystery Flying Snitch.  Let me start with the product description:
Mystery Flying Snitch Amaze friends and family as the Mystery Flying Snitch appears to fly magically around your body, avoiding capture! Patented illusion of flight, Mystery Flying Snitch has flapping winds and is suitable for cosplay or display on the included platform when not in flight. The Mystery Flying Snitch is suspended by a highly stretchy thread that is almost totally invisible from 6ft, allowing you to recreate magical scenes from the Harry Potter films. Age: 8+ MSRP: $19.99 Availability: August 2019 at Walmart Canadian Availability: Toys R Us, Indigo, EB Games Canadian MSRP: $29.99 

Similar to the Invisibility Cloak, this product helped to create happy childhood memories for my little ones. We suspended it over our loft area and our children had fun acting out scenes. When they are not playing with it, my son hangs it in his room. It's adorable! 



The next item is Tom Riddle's Diary Notebook.  Let me start with the description:
Tom Riddle’s Diary Notebook Tom Riddle used his diary notebook to invisibly store all of his secrets and memories. Now you can do the same! This all new diary set allows Harry Potter fans to leave mysterious notes and messages, just like the ones seen in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The Slytherin House pen included is filled with invisible ink, which can only be seen under the glowing wand’s UV light. The wand is designed to be attached to any of your favorite keyrings (keyring or key fob not included), so keeping it safe and hidden from Muggles should be no problem. Age: 8+ MSRP: $17.99 Availability: Fall 2019 on Amazon Canadian Availability: Indigo and EB Games Canadian MSRP: $24.99 
My oldest son has been using it as a diary. It's much better than the diary that I had as a child. Mine had a lock and my sister could easily pick the lock. On the other hand, a diary that is protected by magic is much safer, right?  I'm only half joking because my youngest son doesn't know about invisible ink or that a UV light reveals the writing.  In the meantime, my oldest is thrilled to keep his memories in this very nice journal.



Finally, Kano's Harry Potter Coding Wand provides an educational and whimsical experience for children who are learning to code. We love fun activities that allow our children to relax at the end of the day and over the weekend. It's even better when a relaxing activity is educational.  The Kano Harry Potter Coding kit allows children to build their own wand to then code and interact with an app to grow jellybeans, make cars fly, and more through the immersive coding experience. This is a great toy for little ones that is sure to create happy childhood memories while building their coding abilities.



When we evaluate whether we want to recommend a tech toy, we consider multiple factors. First, is it well designed so that it is accessible to my child? I'm sure that you've come across many tech toys where it's too confusing and your little one gets frustrated. In the case of this Harry Potter kit, we found that it is very accessible and that it set my son up for success so that the coding was fun.  I actually didn't have to intervene at all. He built the wand and used the app without asking for help. Second, we divide the cost of the tech toy by the number of hours that our child spends with it. I know that parents don't want to spent hundreds of dollars on a toy that loses novelty in a couple of hours.  In the case of this product, I've been using a timer and he has already put 35 hours into it. That comes out to less than $3/hour which I consider pretty awesome. However, he still has many activities left to complete, so we will definitely get even more value out of it.  It is a great deal! Another thing that I love about it is that the coding environment complements my son's schoolwork. It's uses Blockly which is very user friendly for kids and helps to develop basic coding skills. Finally, my little future tech mogul is obsessed with the Kano Harry Potter Coding Wand. He is a chatterbox when it comes to telling people about it. I know that he truly loves it.   This is a must-have tech toy for kids to relax with educational fun throughout the school year.





I hope that you enjoyed these fun Harry Potter gift ideas!
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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Celebrate National Taco Day at Chuy's on Thursday, October 4th!


National Taco Day in on Thursday, October 4, 2019!  We plan to celebrate by visiting Chuy's for authentic Tex-Mex food.  This trendy restaurant is iconic in Texas because their made-from-scratch dishes are seriously crave-worthy.  I know many people who have moved away and request dinner at Chuy's when they come back for visits. It's a go-to restaurant for many Texans! (Although, they have expanded a lot over the years and now have 103 restaurants in 19 states now. Get the list here.)  Whether it's your first visit or 100th visit, you'll definitely want to visit on National Taco Day!  Here is a summary of the special for the day:
What: National Taco Day at Chuy’s restaurants (use the store locator here.) 
When: Friday, October 4, 2019 at 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. 
Details: This year for National Taco Day Chuy’s is celebrating the taco with specials worthy of taco lovers everywhere. Add a crispy beef taco for $1.00 to any entrée purchase. Kick up your favorite margarita with $1.00 floaters - an extra pour of tequila or orange liqueur. Also, select Chuy's taco-themed t-shirts will be on sale for $10.00.As a bonus, visit any Chuy’s location dressed like a taco on October 4 and post on social media with #NationalTacoDay. You’ll earn a free entrée of your choice, redeemable the same day. Whether you’re a fan of fajita tacos, fish tacos or crispy beef tacos, Chuy’s has the taco that’s right for you to celebrate this special occasion.  You'll definitely want to follow #NationalTacoDay on social media to see those creative taco costumes! Here is one to give you an idea.

If you prefer to stay in your taco pajamas and order online at order.chuys.com. Use promo code TACODAY to get a FREE Crispy Beef Taco with any order.

Learn More
As I mentioned, the hashtag #NationalTacoDay is sure to be epic thanks to Chuy's customers who post photos of their taco costumes.  Follow them on social media:
Facebook #NationalTacoDay
Instagram @chuysrestaurant
Twitter @chuysrestaurant
Visit their website: Chuys.com
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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

(Win it!) The Explorer Academy from National Geographic Kids Books #ExplorerAcademy


If you follow regularly, you know that I am a big fan of National Geographic Kids books because they have published books that my son has read many times from cover-to-cover.  Now that he is almost in middle school, we've advanced to the Explorer Academy line of books.  In today's post, I'll tell you about this trendy series of books.

The Explorer Academy recently launched in fall 2019, so you'll be able to find these books on Amazon and at stores nationwide.  I think that these are going to be the "it" books for fall and even during the holiday season because they are exciting and engaging with high-tech adventures. Similar to other National Geographic Kids books, they are packed with educational facts. It's the perfect combination of fun and learning. Personally, these books were an introduction to the genre of code cracking and mysteries for my son. The books have engaged him and resulted in many requests such as, "May I stay up late to read my book? It's really good!"

Here is a quick overview of the Explorer Academy:
"In the Explorer Academy series, adventure, danger, and a thrilling global mission await 12-year-old Cruz Coronado as he joins an elite school for explorers. Cruz leaves his tranquil home in Hawaii to join 23 talented kids from around the globe to train at the Explorer Academy with the world's leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers. But for Cruz, there's more at stake. No sooner has he arrived at the Academy than he discovers that his family has a mysterious past with the organization that could jeopardize his future. In the midst of codebreaking and cool classes, new friends and augmented reality expeditions, Cruz must tackle the biggest question of all: Who is out to get him, and why?"
The first book in the series is The Nebula Secret. This is a great book to start since it is the first in the series.  I don't want to spoil any surprises, but as I mentioned earlier, my son loves this book. I am glad that this was his first book that introduces him to mysteries because it's also packed with educational knowledge. It's a nice combination of fun while being educational. 


The Falcon’s Feather is the next book that we recommend. I highly recommend it because it's similarly wonderful to The Nebula Secret. (Plus, if you order from Amazon, it's nice to order a couple of books at once so that your order total is enough to qualify for free shipping!)  I should also mention that the ExplorerAcademy.com website provides the first chapter of The Nebula Secret AND The Falcon’s Feather in case you want to have your child read these chapters before deciding to order the books.  The website also offers the opportunities to play games, check out the “fact behind the fiction,” meet real life explorers, and much more. 


The Explorer Academy: Code-Breaking Activity Adventure is another great book. They invested a lot to make this a great book and you'll quickly notice that it paid off to have a diverse set of experts to create the books. The team included researchers, photographers, content experts, and educational specialists. It is one of my son's favorite books!


Finally, watch for the highly anticipated The Explorer Academy: Double Helix book. We haven't read this one yet, but it's on my son's wishlist.

I hope that you enjoyed this peek into our son's latest reading obsession.  Let me share some links in case you want to learn more:   Visit the Explorer Academy Author Trudi Trueit's website and follow on Facebook and Twitter. We also recommend following National Geographic Kids Books on Facebook and Twitter.

Win it!
Thanks to National Geographic Kids, one lucky reader will receive the three books featured in this post! Please enter using the Rafflecopter below. The winner must have a U.S. shipping address. No P.O. boxes. The winner will have 72 hours to respond to our email with their shipping address. Otherwise, we will select a different winner. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Take a Peak at My FabFitFun Box for Fall 2019 -- You'll Want to Add This Subscription to Your Holiday Wish List


If you follow regularly, you know that I have tried several different subscription boxes in the past, but FabFitFun is my absolute favorite. FabFitFun stands out from the crowd because they curate fabulous boxes with full size premium items. It's an amazing deal because the boxes typically contain $200+ worth of products, but they only charge $49.99 per box. In today's box, I'll show you the contents of my Fall 2019 box. (Spoiler alert - I found new products that I can't live without!)

Let's get started!

The Twine Cheese Board with Plate is the first item in the box. It's really nice because it has a removable ceramic plate, stainless steel cutlery, and a chic acacia wood serving plate.  When we visit friends for dinner, we often take cheese platters, so we are excited to have this lovely cheese board and plate to take to parties. This product retails for $30.



The Cosmedic Pure C is a unique product that brightens skin. It contains 100% pure ascorbic acid that you may add to your evening serum or moisturizer. A good vitamin C product has been on my wishlist for a while because I've read about how this ingredient helps to brighten skin. I use the Cosmedic Pure C by tapping a few sprinkles of this product into my evening moisturizer for a brightening boost. As a Texan, my dry skin soaks up this vitamin C for a more radiant complexion.  This product is a keeper! This products retails for $54.


The Afterspa Hair Towel Wrap is designed with an elastic loop and button to comfortably dry and hold your hair up. Personally, I noticed that my hair texture changed in my 40's.  I changed my routine to only wash my hair every other day. I also try to air dry my hair as much as possible.  This hair towel wrap is fantastic as I am able to keep my hair up while I get ready in the morning and then let it down after I complete my skincare and makeup routine. This product retails for $18.



The Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair is one of my favorite products. I've actually been using it for years, so I was excited to see it in the box. This hair repair product is infused with quinoa protein, macadamia oil, and soy. It instantly repairs and protects your hair from heat styling (up to 450 degrees). I always take it with me when I travel since hotel hair dryers seem to typically only have very hot settings that damage my hair. I use a small amount on my shoulder length hair by first rubbing it into my hands and then distributing it to my damp hair. After I comb it through my hair, I blow dry it. This product is well worth the $30 price tag and is something that I already buy on a regular basis, so I feel like you really can't beat this deal considering that the entire FabFitFun Fall 2019 box is only $49.99 and contains several other products.  Plus, I was excited to see that the FabFitFun magazine includes a coupon for future Aveda orders. Again, this product retails for $30.



The Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Mask 6 Pack has been on my wishlist since April!  Someone in my bookclub bought these eye masks and brought them to one of our meetings to tell us about them because they are her favorite beauty hack. They are great for soothing the area under your eyes.  These eye masks feature hyaluronic acid, aloe leaf extract, and lavender oil to deeply hydrate the skin and offer a cooling effect. 



Personally, I have very dry skin and have to be careful because the area under my eyes often feels stretched thin if I don't moisturize regularly. I've been using these eye masks by (1) washing my skin with a gentle face wash, (2) gently patting my skin dry, and (3) applying them under my eyes for 15 minutes. When I remove them, I pat the extra serum into my skin. These masks are a lifesaver because they are soothing and leave my skin feeling soft. The results are definitely noticeable. My husband couldn't figure out what I did but complemented me on my skin and said that I had a glow to me. This product retails for $25.



The Human + Kind Body Souffle uses a blend of apricot oil and shea butter.  It's a nice formula that quick absorbs into my dry skin to leave it soft and moisturized. This is a must-have product for Texans who have dry skin. This product retails for $18.



The Harper + Ari Exfoliating Sugar Cubes are a fun product that I've been using in the shower for exfoliation. These scented sugar cubes crumble in your hand and then nourish as you use them for exfoliation. (My husband borrowed these sugar cubes and loved them too!) This product retails for $16.



Finally, the surprise item in my box that completely rocked my world is the Grown Alchemist Detox Night Cream with peptide-3, echinacea, and reishi extract.  One of my previous FabFitFun boxes contained a cream cleanser from this brand that quickly became a part of my daily routine.  I was over-the-moon to see a Grown Alchemist Detox Night Cream in my box! This is a splurge item that turned out to be a game changer. My 40-something year old skin is dry and has fine lines. This night cream felt like a miracle worker!  First, my skin feels soft, especially around my eyes where my skin is typically the most dry. Second, my skin is more radiant and the fine lines are less noticeable. I look forward to using this night cream at the end of the day because it's so soothing and the results are amazing. This product retails for $125.



Finally, I love the magazine that comes in each box. The Fall 2019 magazine features Meghan Trainor.  This quarter's magazine not only discusses each of the products in the box with beauty tips, but there are also articles that I found inspiring. I am currently looking for a new job and focusing on self improvement, so I appreciated the upbeat articles with inspiring tips. I've also been working to lose weight since March. I am now 4 pounds away from my final goal, so the articles that focus on healthy habits and happiness were a perfect fit for me.  As moms, I think that we tend to put everyone else ahead of ourselves.  Self care is important and I've definitely gone through phases where my self care was lacking because I really struggle with things like sleep deprivation and some other phases of parenting. FabFitFun is perfect for moms because it's only $49.99 per box and then contains fabulous items like the examples that I shared above from my Fall 2019 box.  (You'll note that the value of products in my Fall 2019 box adds to $316.) The curators of FabFitFun always exceed my expectations, so it's easy to recommend their subscription service to busy moms who want to try new high end products without spending a fortune.  Visit FabFitFun here.



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The Sennheiser M3 Momentum Wireless Headphones Are Now at Best Buy! @BestBuy @Sennheiser #ad

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and our own.  

If you follow regularly, you may know that I've spent the past several months losing weight. I gained weight during pregnancy. Due to various circumstances, the weight didn't come off quickly. However, the weight has slowly disappeared and I am now 4 pounds away from my target goal. (Yes, there is an emphasis here that I slowly lost weight.) More importantly, my energy level has improved as I am happily exercising and spending more time outside. Throughout the process, one thing that was helpful was to listen to music during walks, workouts, or even just cleaning our house. In today's post, I'll tell you about the trendy Sennheiser MOMENTUM Wireless Headphones that are perfect for walks, cleaning around the house, or anywhere else that you want to experience premium sound where you truly hear the difference.

Sennheiser’s new MOMENTUM Wireless Headphones are all about premium sound quality.  Their stylish and intuitive design makes them comfortable. They are available in black or sandy white. You really can't go wrong with either of these neutral colors.  Of course, the most important quality is the balanced depth and precision of studio-quality sounds. I feel like I am in another world with these headphones and appreciate the crystal clear and sharp sound.  Not only are they great for my walks, but I also love them for when I clean my house because I feel like time goes by so quickly when listening to good music with these high quality headphones. The fact that they are wireless is greatly appreciated too. 

Let me share some more details.


Let's start with the contents of the box:

  • MOMENTUM Wireless
  • Audio 3.5mm cable
  • USB-C to USB-A adapter
  • USB-C Charging cable
  • Case
  • Quick Guide
  • Safety Guide


Now let me share some specs of these trendy wireless headphones:

  • Auto On/Off and Smart PauseNever miss a beat with seamless On/Off and Smart Pause functionality.  Simply fold the earcups, open or close to turn your music on or off.  Remove your headphones to bring your music to a pause, and then slip them back on to get back into the groove.  
  • Active Noise Cancellation (3 modes) and Transparent HearingMOMENTUM Wireless adapts to your environment wherever you find yourself allowing you to experience your audio world on your terms.  The advanced Active Noise Cancellation offers three modes that are tailored to different environments.  With the Transparent Hearing feature, you can enjoy music while still being aware of your surroundings. 
  • 3 Modes:Max: The Max mode offers Maximum Mode Cancellation (Airplane)Anti Wind: Provides noise cancellation optimized for outdoorsAnti Pressure: Softer noise cancellation for at-home use Three Button InterfaceEasy to operate, without needing to read a manual, the simple and intuitive 
  • 3-Button Interface means you can switch between your music and making calls in an instant.  You can also activate Volume Control at the touch of a button and link to voice assistant technology immediately. 
  • Automatic Pairing ModeMakes setting up easy on first activation.  
  • Smart Control AppBuild-in equalizer, Noise Cancellation and Transparent Hearing modes mean you can tailor your sound to your situation.  
  • Smart ‘Tile’ TechnologyTrack your headphones, so the only time you feel lost, is in the music.  
  • Soft Earpads and HeadbandA genuine leather head strap and premium earcups deliver superior comfort for those who like to enjoy endless listening.  

As I mentioned earlier, the Sennheiser M3 Momentum Wireless Headphones are now at Best Buy!  Stop by and check them out because they are game changers. The intuitive design and excellent quality sound is truly amazing.  I love that the comfortable design and high quality sounds makes me feel like I'm in my own little world as I go about my day. They are so easy to fit into your lifestyle. 


Finally, let me share a couple of helpful resources to learn more in case you want to research these wireless headphones further. Learn more on the Best Buy website here. Follow on Magnolia on Facebook and Sennheiser on Facebook.




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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

DIY Star Wars Light Saber Bubble Wands for Halloween Parties + Party Supplies from Zak! Designs


DIY Star Wars Halloween Light Saber Bubble Wands

Similar to most other boys, my sons and their friends cannot get enough of Star Wars. I am starting to think that they dedicate 20% of their brains to Star Wars.  In today's post, I'll share how to DIY Light Saber Bubble Wands for class parties and tell you about Star Wars themed Halloween products by Zak! Designs that are also perfect for parties with little ones. (Spoiler alert - the plates and cups are spooky and adorable, but equally important is that they are sturdy for parties where little hands may accidentally drop things!) I'll also tell you about their Harry Potter Halloween items that my oldest son and his classmates love!

DIY Light Saber Bubble Wands
Supplies:
  • One dozen Big Bubble Wands
  • Colorful Masking Tape Set
Directions
1. Select your favorite color roll of tape and bubble wand. 

2. As shown in steps 2 and 3 of the photo below, wrap one piece of tape over the bottom edge and then a second piece in a perpendicular position over the bottom edge so that the bottom is fully covered. 

3. As shown in steps 4 and 5, wrap tape around the handle until it is fully covered.

4. As shown in step 6, use the red masking tape to create a button for the light saber. My son and his friends will tell you that while flexibility is allowed for the colors of the bubble wands and handle tape, the button must always be the color red. Optionally, add stripes to the handle for extra fun.


5. Add the DIY Light Saber Bubble Wands to a pretty basket. Now that you have the final bubble wands, blow bubbles for the children and let them use their trendy Light Saber Bubble Wands to chase and pop the bubbles!


This is a fun project for Halloween parties, especially class parties at school!


In addition to the trendy DIY Star Wars Light Saber Bubble Wands, let me also share that Zak! Designs has the best Star Wars Halloween party supplies, including cups (with lids!), leak-proof water bottles, and plastic plates.  Our favorite items below include the Star Wars Halloween Mealtime set from Zak! Designs.  



These trendy products from Zak! Designs are a great way to dress up a class party. It's fun to see the children excited about the Halloween twist on their favorite characters. We also love that the items are sturdy for younger children who may accidentally drop items. (I know all about this as a Room Mom and the tears that flow if a cup spills or breaks!  Cups with lids and leak-proof water bottles are so important for younger children.)  

Finally, I should mention that Zak! Designs has many other fun Halloween themed products, including everything from Harry Potter to The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Personally, my oldest son loves Harry Potter.  Zak! Designs has a Harry Potter Mealtime set that he loves. The cup with lid/straw, leak-proof water bottle, and plastic plate have our favorite Harry Potter characters and phrases. You'll notice the whimsical design of the characters for Halloween.  In addition, they also have trendy ceramic mugs. The one on the left below will change colors when it's warm. The one on the right has a festive cauldron design.  These products are fun for spooky Halloween celebrations!



I hope that you enjoyed these fun ideas for Halloween parties. Visit the Zak! Designs website to learn more here.
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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Fireside Pies Launches Their New Express Lunch


In today's post, I want to introduce you to one of our favorite restaurants - Fireside Pies.  I first became aware of this trendy restaurant when I came across a Zagat article that rates Fireside Pies as one of the 8 coziest restaurants and bars in Dallas-Fort Worth.  They have a few locations. The Grapevine location is near our home, so it is often our go-to dining destination. It's one of the few restaurants that everyone in our family absolutely loves!  


The Grapevine location of Fireside Pies is located on Main Street.  This trendy location is popular among both locals and tourists.  If you are a visitor, you'll want to save time walking around Main Street because it's a lovely area.



Fireside Pies is a great restaurant to visit in the evening for dinner and drinks. However, I want to highlight lunch in this post because Fireside Pies recently crafted a new scratch-made menu that is accessible during a lunch break and costs between $10 to $12 for each of the specials below. Specifically, the Express Lunch menu currently includes:


  • 9” One Topping Pie
  • Meatball Sandwich
  • Rustic Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Balsamic Chicken Salad Sandwich
  • Bolognese with Noodles
  • Lasagna – Spinach noodles, Bolognese, bechamel and mozzarella
  • Bucatini – Pancetta, crushed tomato, onions, chili infused EVOO, black pepper and pecorino
  • Butter Noodles – Butter, parmesan, parsley and black pepper

Each Express Lunch entrée is served with your choice of a large salad. These delicious offerings are available every day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fireside Pies’ Grapevine, Plano, Lover’s Lane, and Fort Worth locations.



Now that I've told you about their delicious new express menu for lunch, let me share some of our favorite go-to items that my family loves.  You'll notice a trend that they use top quality ingredients and crave-worthy recipes.

My personal favorite is the Baked Goat cheese that contains goat cheese, oven-dried tomato, Kalamata olives, basil pesto, and crostini.  


My husband's favorite appetizer is the Grilled Artichoke & Spinach Dip. This rich dip contains artichoke hearts, baby spinach, a cheese blend, and flatbread. My entire family loves this tip. The flatbread is soft and tastes fresh out of the oven.



I always recommend a salad in addition to the delicious pizza or pasta. My husband and I share the same favorite salad - the Baby Arugula. This flavorful salad comes in a generous portion and includes arugula, blue cheese, pepperoni, pinon nuts, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and a Balsamic mustard vinaigrette. It's a unique salad that I would summarize as flavorful!



My children share a favorite pizza - the Triple. This pizza stands out to us because the recipe includes truffle oil. They figured out how to have the perfect ratio of truffle oil, pepperoni, mozzarella, basil and sauce.  If you have children, this pizza is the best!



The Medi Pie is a delicious vegetarian pizza that is generously packed with veggies.  It's a nice Meditteranean style pizza that is packed with colorful nutrients.



Another unique pizza is the Proscuitto & Parm. This pizza contains fresh sauce, mozzarella, and arugula. The combination of the sauce, argula, and proscuitto complement each other well.  You'll taste the high quality ingredients in this recipe!


Finally, family dinner is not complete without dessert. We order two Warm Cocoa Brownie desserts to share.  The brownie is warm from the oven and topped with vanilla bean ice cream, sea-salted caramel, and hazelnuts. It's worth the calorie splurge!


I hope that you enjoyed this peak into our family's favorite menu items at Fireside Pies.  I also hope that you are able to visit them soon for dinner or to check out the new Express Menu for lunch.


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