Westin Galleria Dallas Staycation

Westin Galleria Dallas Entrance

Last week, The Nerd and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary with a Dallas staycation at the Westin Galleria. Sometimes, it’s nice to just get away for the night.

Our 18th-floor room was really nice. The Aggies were playing in the Cotton Bowl that night, so we decided to head up to the Westin Executive Club Lounge and watch the game. This is an area exclusive to patrons of the Executive Club rooms where hors ‘derves and drinks are served in the evening, and continental breakfast is served in the morning.

The hotel was recently remodeled and now features a spacious pool area with personal cabanas, in addition to spacious and modern rooms. You can even choose a weekend package or shopping package to make your Dallas staycation even more convenient and affordable.

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But the best part (besides the shower) was the view. We opened up the windows and looked down on the Dallas skyline.

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Oh, and the shopping! It’s great to be so close to all the great shopping venues in the Galleria.

Westin Galleria Christmas Tree

We had a wonderful time, and it was a special anniversary. You can read more of my posts about Galleria Dallas here. Have you ever had a staycation in your hometown?

Disclaimer: I was provided with a gift card for a one-night stay at the Westin Galleria Dallas. All opinions and photos are my own. 

Finding His Independence

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The other day, I caught Andrew playing by our back door with a basketball. It’s funny — sometimes, he has to be right beside me, holding my hand and playing just with me. Other times, he’ll play all by himself for hours at a time, his imagination in overdrive.

Someone once told me that I was a fool for co-sleeping with Andrew. I have to admit, the decision to co-sleep was born out of my survival instinct and not out of intensive research into the psychological or developmental effects.

My baby, who spent weeks in the NICU in a lonely crib, craved human interaction and touch when he came home. He refused to sleep unless he was in my arms. I remember staying awake with him, rocking him and laying him down, just to be back up again with him within an hour. But the moment we laid down together, he’d sleep the night through.

Anyway, this person told me that I was keeping Andrew from developing independence by allowing him to sleep in our bed. My friend’s advice was to put Andrew in his room, shut the door and let him cry it out. My response was that they should have a baby and then come give me that advice.

I cannot be that mother. The one who shuts her child up in a room alone, him not understanding why she left. Don’t get me wrong — I have nothing but respect for those who can and do raise their children that way. They get a full night’s sleep. I don’t.

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But when I caught Andrew all alone, playing happily by himself with a basketball while Mommy got some work done, I knew.

I’m not stunting his emotional growth or his independence.

This boy is just fine all on his own.

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Until he realizes that Mommy is watching.

Four Years

Dancing Together

Today is our Fourth Wedding Anniversary, and I’ve been thinking a lot about our wedding and the time we’ve had together since then.

I thought I’d share a few photos from our wedding with you all. I started this blog after we got married, and haven’t had the chance to share them before now.

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Photos by Duran Photography.

 

It’s been a wild and crazy ride, but I’m glad it was with this amazing man. Happy Anniversary, Babe!

 

Verizon Wireless: How To Set Up Windows Phone 8 on a Mac

Windows Phone for Mac Button

A few weeks ago, I received a Windows Phone 8X from Verizon Wireless to test and review. As a Verizon Wireless Ambassador, I have had the chance to try out three different phones on the Verizon Wireless Network.

This is my first Windows Phone, and I have to admit, I was a bit intimidated. I have been a Mac girl for the past three years, and I thought it would be really hard to integrate a Windows device into our network of Apple hardware. You see, we own two iPhones, two iPads, a MacBook Pro, an iMac and two Apple TVs. All of our movies, music and photos are housed on our Apple devices so that we can view them wherever we want to.

I thought that surely it would not be easy to set up Windows Phone 8 on a Mac. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The process is simple — it was actually easier to add media to the Windows Phone 8X from iTunes than to add media to my iPhone from iTunes, in my opinion.

Windows Phone in Mac App Store

The first thing you need to do is download the Windows Phone app from the App Store on your Mac. It’s free.

Importing Windows Phone for Mac

Then, plug in your Windows Phone to your Mac using a USB cord. The app will start to import any media that is stored locally on the phone, like photos from your camera roll or music you’ve downloaded on the phone itself.

Windows Phone for Mac Menu Screen

Once it’s finished importing, you’ll see the phone’s capacity in a bar at the bottom, including how much data is being used by different types of media.

You can visit the Windows App Marketplace directly on your computer to download apps, which are then downloaded directly to your phone. It’s really easy and a great way to add a bunch of apps when you’re first setting up your phone.

Device options allows you to configure settings for your phone, including its name and downloading options.

Windows Phone for Mac Music Import

Click on Music and choose whether to sync music from your iTunes library to your phone. You can select all music or certain playlists, artists or genres.

It works the same way for Photos & Videos, Movies & TV Shows, Podcasts, and Ringtones.

Windows Phone Mac App Delete Items

Another really cool thing you can do is delete media on the phone from your computer. Go to Browse Device and it will list every file on the phone. Then you can pick and choose items to delete or import. For instance, you can choose specific photos to delete and do this on your computer, rather than having to go to the phone itself.

When you’re finished, press the Sync button and wait for it to be done.

I’m having a lot of fun with the Windows Phone 8X and I’ll be doing more posts on all of its cool features.

Stay tuned!

 

 

**Disclaimer** I am a Verizon Wireless Ambassador. I received a wireless device and phone/data plan free of charge to use for review and evaluation of Verizon Wireless products and services. As part of the program, I was asked to share my opinions with others, however, my opinions are my own. Please contact vzw@comblu.com with any questions about the Verizon Wireless Ambassadors’ Program.

Black-Eyed Pea Dip

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Happy New Year’s Eve! Growing up, in true Southern fashion, my family always made sure to serve black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. They are supposed to bring luck in the New Year.

As you can imagine, eating plain ol’ black-eyed peas can get kind of boring. So this year, I looked for a way to change things up. And I found this dip.

It’s really yummy and would be the perfect way to serve this Southern tradition on New Year’s Day.

Black-Eyed Pea Dip
Adapted From: Paula Deen

Ingredients:
2 (15-oz) cans black-eyed peas, drained
1 (15-oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 cans Rotel, drained
1 c chopped red bell pepper
2 – 3 Tbsp chopped fresh jalapeño pepper
1/4 c chopped red onion
1/2 c red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp sugar
Pinch dried oregano
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c vegetable oil

Directions:

In a large bowl, stir together the black-eyed peas, corn, Rotel, bell pepper, jalapeño and onion.

In a jar fitted with a tight lid, mix together the vinegars, oils, salt, pepper, mustard, sugar and oregano. Drizzle the dressing into the bowl, adding just enough to coat the vegetables but not drench them.

Chill in the refrigerator until time to serve. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

An Anniversary Surprise — Frederick’s of Hollywood Lingerie #CBias

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Next week, The Nerd and I will celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. I can’t believe that it’s already been four years since I married the man of my dreams. This has been kind of a hard year for us. We’ve both had to adjust to sharing our lives with a baby, and I’m sad to say that spending time together has become less of a priority. That’s something that I really want to work on together this next year.

Read More…

Dreaming of a White Christmas

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Christmas morning was cold and rainy in Dallas-Fort Worth. For days, the weather forecast had been going back and forth on whether or not we’d have a White Christmas. But by early afternoon, the rain had turned to big snow flakes and the white stuff had started sticking to the ground.

We had gone to my brother’s house for Christmas dinner, and the kids could hardly wait to go outside and play in the snow. It was so cold and windy, though, Andrew was less than pleased. River and Eli had fun, though!

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This morning, snow still blanketed the ground. So we thought we’d give it one more go and headed outside to play in it. But even without the wind and the falling snow, Andrew was not a fan.

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I got a new Macro lens for Christmas, and decided to snap a few photos of the Winter Wonderland. It had already started to melt, so I knew it wouldn’t be around for long.

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Did you get some snow on Christmas?



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