Frisco Staycation

The past weekend the wonderful people at AC Hotels Frisco and Visit Frisco had us for a staycation. The original plan was Trevor and I were going to have a night away before this baby comes! We were going to have a nice evening- just the two of us- enjoying what Frisco has to offer. Plans changed and Millie came along too. As a very pregnant mom of a two year old I can say I wasn’t overly thrilled, but I was excited at the fact I didn’t have to leave her for 18 hrs.

We drove up to Frisco from Dallas- this is like a 35+ min drive. In the DFW area I think you kind of stay in your bubble. We live in Dallas, so we don’t travel out of our Dallas bubble often. I was thrilled when Visit Frisco and AC Hotel Frisco offered us the opportunity to do a staycation and see what Frisco has to offer!

We checked into the new AC Hotel Frisco- wow- it is new, modern, clean, and sleek. We were super impressed. As a family who likes to travel- we stay in a lot of hotels and we know what we like. We liked this hotel. Millie ran into the room and immediately took her shoes off and got comfortable. After getting settled we headed down to their lounge for a cocktail (water for me) and some tapas. The food, drinks, and service did not disappoint. The lounge is swanky and felt comfortable. After we were done we headed over to the Star Frisco.

If you don’t know what The Star is- it is the Dallas Cowboys practice center. It has bars, restaurants, shops, and office spaces. They call it Jerry World here. (Jerry Jones is the owner of the Cowboys- hence Jerry World) It was decorated for the holidays we bright blue lights on the trees (Dallas Cowboys colors). We headed to Tupelo Honey for dinner.

Tupelo Honey is a southern restaurant. It’s famous for their chicken and we can see why. I got the fried chicken biscuit and my husband got their Chimichurri chicken. We both loved our meals. Millie got mac-n-cheese and roasted carrots which she seemed to love too!

After dinner we headed back to the hotel because it was WAY past bedtime- for Millie and me! We got cozy in our beds and called it a night.

In the morning we snuggled in bed, watched the iPad, and ate our leftover cookies from the night before. There is nothing I love more than just being present with my little family. I am so happy Millie came with us. We had a wonderful time as a family of three- something that is going to change in less than 5 weeks. I want to soak up as much time as I can with having one kid. I cannot wait for our second, but I know for a while it is going to be a huge adjustment for all of us.

I cannot thank Visit Frisco and AC Hotel Frisco enough for the wonderful stay, food, drinks, goodies, and experience we had. All the hotel employees were so friendly and helpful. The hotel is one we would chose again and again. The three of us enjoyed our time and it is a memory we will have forever. I am so glad plans changed and it wasn’t a night away, but a night together.

If you come to the DFW area check out AC Hotels and Visit Frisco!

25 Days of Christmas

I know, I know…I’m a week late. Things have been insane at our house the past week, so this got way delayed. I still wanted to share fun ideas for the Christmas holiday. These are fun, easy, and can bring so much joy to your family.

When you were a kid you loved getting presents from Santa, but over all the years do you really remember what you got each Christmas- besides those insane gifts- Barbie Doll house for me. I don’t remember what I got most years, but I do remember baking in the kitchen, going to a fancy dinner each Christmas, seeing a holiday play each year with my best friend and our moms, I remember the experiences…not the gifts.

I try my hardest to do this with Millie. I want to give her memories and experiences- not all the material things. As we grow up we see that it’s what we remember and that is what brings a smile to my face. I am sure I got amazing gifts I was so excited about, but year and years and years later I do not remember what the gifts were.

Here is a fun list of things to do this season. I call it the 25 Days of Christmas list. Some are so simple, some take more effort or some money, but overall it is about making memories and having fun with your family at this chaotic time of year. Let me know what you decided to do off the list!!

Food Brings People Together

Fall is a wonderful time of year.  It gets cooler, you can snuggle up, and it seems like we spend a lot more time with friends and family.  Every week is some fun event, birthdays, friendsgivings, family dinners- it is awesome.  One of my favorite things, as many of you know, is entertaining.  I absolutely love to cook.  My father was a chef and I have always grown up in the kitchen.  I truly believe that food brings people together.  That is why I am so excited about Walmart’s mission this season with #WalmartCommunityTable.  They are focusing on real food, organic fruits and vegetables and organic and sustainably sourced meats to help you make the best meals this season.  Walmart has a wide selection of organic foods for you and yours.  It makes me feel good knowing that I can purchase healthy, organic, responsibly sourced food for my family at our neighborhood Walmart. 

Living in Texas we are BIG Mexican food fans.  I wanted to share a recipe that I have tweaked over the years to make special for our family and friends.  It is always a hit when we have people over and it is so easy to make too.  I call it Pulled Verde Chicken.  We usually have it on tacos, but it would be good for salads or over rice as well. It is made in the crock pot, like I said, so simple!

I have purchased all my ingredients from Walmart– organic tomatoes, onion, limes, avocado, pork tenderloin, and so on.  Once I have everything gathered, I start with the meat.

I generously use salt, pepper, and cumin over the pork tenderloin.  I add a small scoop of minced garlic to the crockpot.  I place the pork in the pot as much in the center as possible.  I cut the onion into large chunks and place it around the pork.  I am not a huge onion fan, but it really does help with the flavoring on the meat.  After you place the meat and onions pour the bottle of Salsa Verde over everything.  Close the lid and cook on high for 1.5-2 hrs.  My crockpot is very hot so sometimes I will cook if for less.

After the meat has cooked take it out and place it on a cutting board.  Here you need to shred it.  I use two large forks and some muscle!  Once you get it all shredded you place it back into the crockpot on simmer or low for 45-60 mins.  After that it is finished!  So simple, right?

We usually put our meat over soft tortilla shells with cheese, tomatoes, and avocado.  You are welcome to add anything you like too! Maybe some diced jalapenos or sour cream!  It is up to you. 

This meal is simple and brings people together.  The pork is tender and juicy and tastes wonderful.  It is an easy meal for week nights or weekends to easily take to someone’s house or have people to your house to enjoy.  Tell me do you have any cozy-go-to recipes that really bring people together? Share them below with #WalmartCommunityTable!

Recipe:

1.5 Pork Tenderloin

1 Jar- Salsa Verde

½- white onion

Minced Garlic

Salt

Pepper

Cumin

For toppings-

Tomatoes

Avocado

Monterey Jack Cheese

Sour Cream

Jalapeños

Generously salt, pepper, and cumin the pork.  Add tsp of minced garlic to the crockpot. Place the pork into the crockpot close to center as possible.  Slice the onions and spread around the pork.  Add the whole jar of Salsa Verde. Place on high for 1/5-2 hrs.  (My crockpot runs hot so I do it for about 1.5 hours) After that time take the pork out and shred it. Place the shredded pork back into the crockpot on low for 45-60mins.  Serve on tortillas, over rice, or on a salad!

Fall Scavenger Hunt

This time of year we cannot be outside enough. Millie loves to go on walks multiple times a day. We walk up and down our street over and over. She likes to walk up to certain houses with fun holiday decor and ohh and ahh at them. It is so funny. There is a *tiny* hill between our neighbors house and ours. She will walk up it saying “HILL” like it is a huge mountain and run or roll down it over and over and over and over. She really does kill me.

In Dallas we usually have a short amount of time where we can really enjoy the outdoors. We have HOT summers and our winters are pretty chilly (to us at least). Overall we do not seem to have a lot of 70* weather days around here. That does not keep us locked up in the house though. There is nothing like the fresh air from being outside. I love to see Millie’s face when she finds something new on the ground. A stick, flowers, leaves, acorns, she will collect them all. A lot of the time we take a bag or bucket with us to collect all of our treasures. Not getting her to take all our findings inside has been a challenge, but I have convinced her to leave them on our front porch.

Since she loves finding items on our walks I decided to make a fun Fall Scavenger Hunt checklist! This is a FREE printable for you! These are items we would really find on our walks outside anyway, but it is a fun way to go on an adventure and find everything. On our list is different color leaves, acorns, small animals, a flag, bug, stick, and a couple more. You can save and print out the Fall Scavenger Hunt and use it as a checklist for your fall walks and adventures. You could even take it to the park with you too!

Tell me…what do you find on your walks?

Be sure to check us out on Instagram and Facebook too!

Right Click and Save to desktop to print for your walk!

Family Crafts with Brawny Tear-A-Sqaure

This post was sponsored by Kroger. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of Brawny.

This past weekend I decided I wanted to do a fun art project with all the kids.  I was racking my brain to think of something they could ALL do. Trying to decide on an art piece all the kids could contribute to was a bit challenging.  They each are into different things and obviously have different levels of art skills being from ages 2-12! We decided to make an abstract painting using all the kids handprints!  They were super excited to do this with each other.  

The concept was super simple: paint your hand, put a hand print on the canvas! 

They had fun deciding what colors to use, what direction to put each hand print, what part of the canvas needed more hand prints and in certain colors. They all worked together and had a fantastic time. Things even got a bit messy as you can imagine. Two brothers 12 & 14 decided to put hand prints other places than the canvas! Ha!

Brawny was a huge help in this project! I used their new Tear-A-Square paper towels!  They give you the strength of Brawny with the flexibility to use only what you need. For setting up the project I laid out full size sheets to help cover the table.  When we needed to clean up a paint spill I used a quarter size sheet. Honestly- why didn’t they think of the quarter size sheet sooner? It is amazing. When the kids needed to dry their hands or help clean up we used half sheets or full sheets depending on the size of the mess!  We were able to use the size of the sheet we needed so we had less waste in the end.  

In the end we have an amazing art piece that captures their personalities and freezes their hands in time.  It is something we will always look back on and see how big and small they were at that time.  

Directions:

What you will need:

Different paint colors- we chose 5

Paint brushes

Paint dishes

Large Canvas

Brawny Tear-A-Square

Hands (or feet)

Lay out Brawny Tear-A-Square under your canvas.  Choose a color to paint on your hand (or your foot!).  Put hand prints towards the outside first, then work your way in.  Stop half way through a look where needs more handprints and in what colors.  Once you decide that you are done let dry 4-5 hours. Use Brawny Tear-A-Square in the sizes you need to help make clean up easy and have less waste!  Finally, pick a spot to hang your masterpiece! 


Fun family art project
Simple Family art project