My First Blog Post

No life is as simple as just one thing. Celebrating the random things that make up my life.

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Get Lucky – March Date Ideas

Here is a quick list of date ideas for the lucky month of March.

1. Go on a trip to Vegas. Even if you don’t like to gamble, there are a lot of shows and performances you can go see. There are great places to eat and some gorgeous places to stay.

Shield, Las Vegas, Game Paradise, Nevada

2. Go to Lucky’s Café for breakfast or lunch in Dallas. https://luckysdallas.com/

3. Make it a group date. Convince your couple friends to go on a scratch off lottery ticket crawl. Everyone has to be willing to sacrifice $10-20 and some gas money and a couple of hours of time. You stop at a place that sells scratch offs and purchase some. If someone wins or has any money left, you drive to the next place to purchase more scratch offs. You continue to do this until everyone is out of money, your two hours is over, or someone wins enough to treat everyone to drinks, to dinner, or to a movie. If someone wins BIG, be a good sport and celebrate with them.

4. Go play BINGO.

Bingo, Cards, Keno, Play, Winner

5. Watch a “lucky” movie like one of these: “The Joy Luck Club,” “Just My Luck,” or “Lucky”

7. Workout together by running in a St. Paddy’s Day 5K like the St. Paddy’s Dash Down Greenville in Dallas, TX on March 14th.

8. Find a festival near you in the month of March. Challenge yourself to go to one you wouldn’t normally go to. Who knows, you might end up having an amazing time. https://www.everfest.com/march-festivals

9. Have money to burn and some vacation time to spend, go on a trip to March, United Kingdom.

10. Make it a night at home full of romance and intimacy.

Candles, Heart, Flame, Love, Valentine

A Little Cash and Some Gas: Spontaneous Day Trip

Last weekend, we decided to go on a spontaneous day trip. We needed out of the city. But when you live between two metroplexes that isn’t always easy to do, so we just ran away from home in search of an escape from all the stressors in our lives.

At first, we didn’t have a destination in mind. We just got in the car, decided how much we were willing to spend, and started driving. We wound up in Weatherford, Texas which is about 50 minutes from where we live. We didn’t really know what they had to offer, but we decided to make the most of whatever was available. Here’s our adventure in pictures.

I love the courthouse here
We ran into the President here
The coffee and hot chocolate was amazing. Local authors have their books here. But . . . hmmm . . . it’s not the cleanest place I’ve been in.
There are so many neat places to eat. Great patios too.
We heard the Peach Festival in the summer is amazing. I guess we will have to come back and find out.
A little taste of the country
Some really neat rides reside in here
I like statues and sculptures
I know he’s not supposed to look like the tinman from the Wizard of Oz, but he kind of does
Around and around and around, you’ll see him every time
So many Victorians
The oddest thing we saw

We will go back when the weather warms up and the gardens are in bloom. The lake is also near by and we will want to spend some time checking it out. There are some neat antique shops and a lot of the local artist have their work for sale in many of the little shops. It’s a neat place.

A different way to ride around town

Richardson, Texas' Hidden Waterfall

I love waterfalls! Well, truth be known, I love water. I enjoy finding waterfalls, especially when I find out there is one in a place I wouldn’t normally think to look – like the middle of a city. Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, has a really nice waterfall hidden away in a neighborhood park. It is a great place for a stroll around the park, a picnic, or a fun little photo shoot with each other. It’s a fabulous place for a romantic date.

When I found out about this hidden waterfall, I was told it was located at Prairie Creek Park at 2305 W. Prairie Creek Dr., Richardson, TX 75080. This is actually the address of the park, but it got us close enough to find some real gems at this park including the waterfall. I’ll try to give more specific directions for those of you who’d like to go find this beauty.

The first thing we discovered was an environmental educational experience across the street from Prairie Creek Elementary School (2120 E Prairie Creek Dr.). Rock seating and a stairwell down to the water make for a nature-lover’s paradise right down a short well-worn path.

Right across from the elementary school is a beautiful, little covered bridge. I’m such a sucker for a covered bridge, so I thought this was so cute.

It looked so beautiful as the sun was setting right before we left.
We always look for “odd things” whenever we are out on a date.
The parking lot for the waterfall is found near the intersection of Lookout Dr. and Prairie Creek Dr. West
This bridge is to the right of the parking lot.

If you go to the left of the parking lot, you will find . . .

Imagine a blanket with a picnic basket with you and the one you love beneath this tree. The sound of the waterfall is right behind you too. PERFECT SPOT!
I think this waterfall is quite stunning for a city waterfall.
Go find this waterfall and enjoy it for yourself.

Unique (or not) Valentine's Day Date Ideas

Heart, Love, Romance, Valentine, Harmony

Chocolates, roses, romantic candle lit dinner out, sexy lingerie, and a fancy stay at a hotel or resort are all great ideas, but if you’re looking for some other ideas, here are some things to consider.

1. The first 14 days of February leave your love a special note. Maybe it’s always in the same place each day or maybe you place each one in a new place each day. Give them 14 reasons you love them, 14 special memories you’ve shared together, or 14 dreams you want to share with them, or mix it up. Have fun with it! It’s sure to make your love smile every day.

Heart, Book, Pages, Romantic, Read

2. Find a recipe on Pinterest together, go to the store together, prep together, cook the meal together, set out the fancy dishes (or at least not the paper plates), light a candle, play some romantic music, enjoy the meal together, and clean up the mess together.

Love, Valentine, Valentines Day

3. Want to workout together and a get a good laugh? Go do yoga with the goats.

4. Go on a cultural walk through the city looking for all the art that expresses love in some form or fashion. Take lots of selfies.

Graffiti, Street Art, Heart, Love, Cool

5. Take a pottery class, a painting class, a glass blowing class, a cooking class, or any other kind of class offered in your area. Just do it together.

Heart, Valentine, Love, Affection, Red, Pink

6. Make chocolate covered strawberries together. Then enjoy them with a bottle of champagne, wine, or sparkling juice.

Strawberry, Chocolate Covered, Dessert

7. Check out the events going on in your area the week of Valentine’s Day. Pick one out together and commit to going. Have a great time!

Daisy, Heart, Romance, Valentine'S Day

8. Do a photo shoot together. Go to a place that’s special to you or one that will make a great backdrop for photos. Set the timer on your phone or camera and laugh through all those shots. Capture some priceless moments to last a lifetime.

Heart, Love, Sunset, Shape, Sign

9. Spend the evening planning a romantic getaway during the not-so-expensive off-peak times. Light candles. Play romantic music. Select your budget. Pick your dates. Plan your trip with romance in mind. Book it on Valentine’s Day to actually enjoy on a different day.

Castle, Love, Love Locks, Loyalty

10. Create a playlist of songs that are special to both of you. Go for a drive and listen to them. Stop somewhere and take a walk hand in hand. Enjoy the sun setting together. Go find a place to gaze at the stars or enjoy the city’s skyline. Kiss under the moon. Look each other in the eyes and tell each other how much you love them. Just be present and together.

Couple, Romance, Love, Kiss, Lovers

Winter Date Ideas

Winter isn’t my favorite time of year, but there are some pretty romantic moments to be had during the winter. Before we know it, everything around here will be budding and bursting with the first signs of spring. Before winter passes us by, challenge yourself to go on some amazing winter dates with the person you love the most.

winter,snow,white,tree

1. Play in the snow. Build a snowman. Make snow angels. Go skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling. Have a snowball fight. No snow? No problem. Plan a trip and go see some. Too expensive for your taste? Crumble up your junk mail and have a “snowball fight” in your house. Just make sure both of you are willing to clean up the mess when the game is over.

snowman

2. Sit by the fireplace and share the things you love about each other.

Fireplace,fire,fireplace,flame

3. Brave the cold. Build a fire in the firepit. Sit around it (even if you have to bundle up in blankets around the fire), and share your favorite memories.

fire Pit

4. Find the best hot chocolate place in town, and go enjoy a cup together. Sit in the back corner of the café, put your phones/technology away, and get lost in conversation.

Hot Chocolate

5. Go ice skating. Hold hands. Keep each other from falling down. Laugh. Have fun.

Couple preparing for ice skating

6. Go to the theater and enjoy a show together.

Audience applauding in the theater

7. Snuggle up in your favorite blanket, and go on a movie date in your living room.

8. Pull out your favorite card game or board game and enjoy some friendly competition.

Game,game,scrabble,play

9. Go to an indoor rock climbing place. Get a great workout. Work on your trust for each other and be great communicators as you coach each other up the side of the indoor cliff face.

10. Become like children and build a blanket fort. Take your flashlights inside and enjoy a romantic moment.

11. Play music and dance around your living room or dress up and go dancing at a local club.

Couple dancing salsa at sunset

12. Bake bread or dessert together. Not your idea of a good time? Go out for dessert.

13. Go on a chocolate tour or find the best place to eat chocolate near you.

chocolate,food,sweet,desert

14. Do a yard project together. Turn your yard (or patio, or balcony) into your own slice of paradise by spring.

15. Go somewhere warm together. Can’t afford an exotic trip to the tropics? Enjoy a hot shower together.

Tropical Bliss

A Tank of Gas & $50: A Day Trip to Hico, TX

Jonathan and I love to go on adventures. Some days those adventures take us on little road trips to places not far from where we live. In the month of January, one of our dates in our Date Box was to go experience Hico, TX. We had ten things to conquer during our trip which was part of the fun.

The 10 adventures to conquer in Hico, TX

#1 – Take a walk around the historic downtown area. It’s not much of a walk either. I think the central section of the downtown area would equate to about two full city blocks, maybe three. You won’t get your 10,000 steps in, but it was still a beautiful little stroll.

downtown Hico, TX
Downtown Hico, TX

I loved the Old West feel to the downtown area. Each little shop and restaurant played off the theme adding to the quaint, little place.

#2 – Walk through the Mercantile. The Mercantile is about a block away from the main downtown area. It was apparently the Opera House in 1890, which is kind of cool. It wasn’t what I was expecting. It’s actually a shop full of specialty vendor booths. Some of them had antiques, others boutique-like clothing, a variety of art things, and then there were the ones with farmhouse-like items, overly crafty things, and décor you might find at Magnolia in Waco, TX. It would be a great place to shop for that perfect gift for the person in your life that has nearly everything or something to add to your own home décor, but we just walked around and looked at all the neat little things they had to offer.

The Mercantile https://www.hicomerc.com/

#3 – Billy the Kid Museum and Gift Shop. This is a tiny little spot in the downtown area of Hico. The woman at the front desk is very knowledgeable. To go to the gift shop, which is in the front of the museum, is free. Although, you might want to spend a few dollars on some good ol’ fashion Dublin soda while you’re in here. To walk through the small museum, they do request you leave a cash donation so be sure and take a few dollars for your walk back in time. There are some interesting things to read about Billy the Kid whenever he was an orphan and a kid as well as some other artifacts to enjoy.

https://www.billythekidmuseum.org/

#4 – Eat some fancy chocolate from The Wiseman House. The Wiseman House is inside of a Victorian home on the edge of town outside of the historic downtown area. I love all things Victorian and chocolates, so this was my kind of place. Inside, the smells of chocolate welcome you, and it is lovely! There are four different rooms inside with all things chocolate along with some unique and charming gifts. All the glass jars with tiny pieces of chocolates are samples worthy of tasting. Have fun with it. Try them all. It’s part of the experience. Besides, the toffee is to die for (my favorite.) We didn’t get to experience a tour, but we found out they have those available as well as chocolate classes. If I were to go again, I’d give them a call at 254-796-2499 and see if we could arrange something before we arrived. I think it would have added to our day in Hico. If the weather would have been nicer, I think we would have eaten our sweets outside as they had a wonderful little area set up for enjoying their chocolates out on the front porch. It really was a lovely little place. Fitting for our date day, we picked up one of their passion chocolates. How perfect was that for our adventure?

https://www.wisemanhousechocolates.com/
The perfect chocolate for our date day – Passion!
The front porch area would be a perfect place to enjoy your sweet purchase on a nice day.

#5 – Go to the tasting room at the Silver Spur Winery’s Tasting Room. The tasting room for the Silver Spur Winery is in the downtown area of Hico. I don’t drink, so I wasn’t as excited about this part of our adventure as Jonathan might have been. Truth is, I really enjoyed this experience, and we both learned so much. There were about 7 or 9 of us at the bar for the tasting. It doesn’t matter when you arrive. The server will just add you in where you are on the list. The tasting menu contained 6 different types of wines. Because I don’t drink, we only purchased one tasting. I enjoyed reading the descriptions, smelling the different wines, swirling them around to see how thick or thin they were, and truly just enjoying a small taste of each one where you focus on the front, middle, and back flavor profiles. I’ve decided I’m a much better wine taster than I am a wine drinker.

Towards the end of our wine tasting experience, the owner of the winery came in from working on pipes. This impressed me more than it probably does others, but I loved knowing that the owner actually works at his own vineyard and shows up at the tasting room to gather feedback from customers. He asked each of us individually what we thought of the different types of wine. Then, he began telling us about his two newest wines. He disappeared to the back and brought out two new bottles and let us try both of them. I enjoyed learning about the different processes used to harvest, create, and bottle the different types he sells. It was also interesting to hear about how the flavor profiles come to be in each bottle of wine.

http://www.silverspurwinery.com/
The 6 wines listed, but we actually tasted 9. The Blush and the J.W. III were our favorites from this list though.

#6 – Buy a Christmas ornament from Blue Star Trading. This is a Texas style kind of shop in the downtown area. They sell clothing, art, décor, jewelry, and unique gifts. We came here in search of a Christmas ornament though. The availability of Christmas décor in general was pretty small which isn’t surprising seeing how it is the end of January, but we were able to find a very unique Christmas star made out of animal hide. The exciting thing about this purchase was the price! It was on sale for 60% off, so we got out of there for under $2 and will remember our trip to Hico each Christmas season when this ornament is added to our tree.

https://bluestartrading.com/

#7 – Eat at a local restaurant. We love to find places to eat that aren’t chain restaurants whenever we go out of town, so this was right up our alley. There are a few locally owned places to choose from here. We picked Flacas Fitness and Brews for a couple of reasons. One, it was part of the historic downtown area. Two, the thought of fitness, art, food, live music, and craft beer all being in one place was . . . well, interesting.

A couple of guys were in the front of the restaurant playing their guitars and singing away. Several people gathered around to listen to them. Jonathan ordered their special smoky hamburger with chips, and I had their “famous” street tacos. They carry Dublin soda, wine, and craft beer here to add to your Mediterranean/Latin inspired meals. We ate in the art room since the front of the house was full. Local artist have their artwork on the walls listed for sale in this part. The very back room of the restaurant is the yoga studio where classes are held quite frequently, I believe.

The chicken tacos were pretty dry to be honest, but the flavor was alright. On the other hand, the pork street tacos were very good. One taco ordered is really two tacos by the way, so I had four tacos which was more than plenty to eat. Jonathan enjoyed his burger and chips as well. We could have bought one meal and split it and still left full. It definitely was an unique little place.

http://flacas-hico.com/

#8 – Take an amazing selfie. Well, I don’t know if we ever take “amazing selfies,” but we always have fun taking them. This one was taken in the middle of the downtown area in the metal gazebo.

We had such a fun and great day!

#9 – Buy a postcard from the visitor’s center. Google told us there was a visitor’s center. We walked to the address of said visitor’s center. We did not find a visitor’s center. We did buy a postcard for $1 at The Wiseman House though just so we could mark this off our list. Close enough, right?

#10 – Take a funny picture with a statue in town. We found the Billy the Kid statue across the street from the main section of the downtown area, so it seemed like the perfect statue funny picture moment. Jonathan said he would be the photographer, so I was stuck reenacting the statue.

https://www.hico-tx.com/

We found some other interesting things to photograph while in town.

The Wooden Indian Cigar Shop had premium cigars, Arbuckles coffee, and unique candles as well as this work of art outside.
Peppermint Square has an old cabin and a stage with picnic tables and a neat little place to take a break and visit.
In case you bring your horse to town, there’s a nice watering trough and hitching post.
https://www.historicmidlandhotel.com/
If you’d like to turn your Hico, TX trip into an overnighter, I’d suggest staying in one of the historic rooms at The Midland Hotel in downtown. Their rates range from $139-$189/night.
And without fail, if you look long and hard enough, you can always find something a little odd anywhere you go exploring.
In the middle of the downtown area, you become the “I” in Hico. The lady across the street at the hotel made sure I held up the dot to the “I” which was cute even though the English teacher in me didn’t want a lower case “i” in the middle of the all capped word, but I appeased the locals.

Hico made for a great little road trip. It’s a perfect little town to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Take a few hours and enjoy the quiet and the slower pace. For about a half tank of gas and less than $50, we had a wonderful date day. When you go, enjoy the shopping in the local boutiques. There’s plenty of other things to do while you are here that we didn’t even list. There’s a popcorn place, trails along the river, a steak cookoff competition in May, several other local eateries, a Pecan drink shoppe, and Sugar Moon Antiques. Explore and go on your own adventure. Leave us a comment and share your favorite experiences in this little place in the big state of Texas.

Ode to Jon's Breakfast

Oh, Sunday morning breakfast!

You are created with much care and love.

Sizzling, baking, frying

I eat a lot before I’ve had enough.

Sunday morning breakfast, Jon’s amazing feast

It matters not the season or the day

morning, noon, or night

Just bring me an overflowing tray!

Oh, Sunday morning breakfast!

You’re a feast to behold!

Bacon, biscuits, eggs, and hashbrowns

It’s the best meal of the day six fold!