Dallas Children's Theater: A Ghost's Tale for Mr. Dickens

Dallas Children's Theater
Magic Tree House's
Holiday Musical
A Ghost's Tale for Mr. Dickens
NOW- December. 23, 2018

Karen Almond


My family was introduced to The #1 Chapter Book Series - The Magic Tree House from recommendations I received from friends almost three summers ago when my oldest started reading chapter books. This book series is truly one of the best children's series that we have read together as a family. I can't express how much we have learned from the stories and the places that Annie and Jack visit and we feel immersed in the story. We have had fun with all the books in the series and how they all tie together with each other.



The Dallas Children's Theater has taken the magic of the Magic Tree house book and extended it onto the stage with their adaptation of the story. Following Jack and Annie on the journey is fun and offers many experiences kids can relate to easily. 

A Ghost's Tale for Mr. Dickens takes a special twist! Be among the first to see brother and sister duo, Jack and Annie, whisked back in time aboard their magical tree ride to the foggy streets of Victorian England. Their mission: to help the famous writer Charles Dickens overcome a terrible bout of writer's block. With a little help from three ghost friends, Jack and Annie learn how charity and kindness can change the course of history. No "Bah Humbug" here...this musical is a fantasy adventure filled with wonderful songs and dances of the season! (written by DCT)

Karen Almond


This is the #1 selling chapter book and YOU don't want to miss it. The show is recommended for kids 6+ but I did take my 3 year old and she did great. I would suggest you think about your kids who are younger and there tolerance for noise and time. What makes DCT special is that there are special times for ASL, and Sensory - Friendly performances that make it possible for every adult and child be apart of the magic of the theater.. 



The DCT is very intentional in choosing plays that the whole family can enjoy and leave with a greater appreciation for the love of theater and live performances. I feel like these theater performances are special and are events that kids need to experience first hand. That is why I can't wait for your family to go and see A Ghost's Tale for Mr. Dickens at the Dallas Children's Theater.



For ticket information and prices click here. Tickets range from $15- $40. The shows are shown Friday's at 7:30 pm and on Saturday and Sunday 1:30 & 4:30 pm and special bargain days on Saturday shows with 30% off. check the schedule for those discounts prices. 







2019 Toyota Avalon : Thanksgiving Weekend



 I wanted to lookup the definition of Thanksgiving and this is what I found: The expression of gratitude especially to God (google dictionary). This powerful statement is the most accurate meaning that expresses how thankful I felt for the opportunity we had to work with Toyota this past week.

 My family was given the opportunity to enjoy the 2019 Toyota Avalon for a week in Dallas. This car came at the right time because we were invited to see and be apart of multiple events around town and the 2019 Toyota Avalon would make attending these events even more fun, especially the Magical Lights displays in Grand Prairie. 

 The Toyota Avalon, along with the other Toyota vehicles we've experienced, are full of features that not only make the drive more enjoyable, but also a lot safer. The rear/front view camera is easy use because it shows multiple angles along with the birds eye view screen. 




 The in-dash screen options are easy to use and helpful, especially the speed monitoring radar that adjusts speed according to the car in front of you while using the cruise control on the highway. This was a great safety feature that was comforting to have on longer trips.



We only had one really cold day during the week, but it was enough to enjoy the multi-level seat warmers that are independently controlled to just the right temperature.


Toyota has been making very visible strides in advancing the safety features offered in their vehicles  and I appreciate knowing this fact when taking my family on road trips in a Toyota.


The 2019 Toyota Avalon has a very smooth and relaxing ride feel that we knew we had to take a couple short distance family trips including to see Christmas holiday lights a mini road trip to a Christmas tree Farm nearby in Terrell, TX, which is only an hour from Dallas. 



The Walls Family Tree farm is a family friendly farm where families and friends come to cut down there own tree for the holidays and this was something we wanted to do. I knew we couldn't fit the tree in the trunk which is already spacious enough for groceries and whatever else you need to fit. 



We opted to place the tree on the roof of the car and that was the perfect fit.  I was a little nervous about it being on top of the car, but again the sunroof shade stayed open for us to monitor it on the way home. 

The 2019 Toyota Avalon was more than enough space for us as a family of 5 but it would not be my first choice for a family of our size. My kids had moments of happy rides and they enjoyed the sportiness of the car's cool looks, but like all kids we had moments of chaos. So, I know if we had a third row option it would have alleviated some of the stress. 




Gobble, Gobble, we are especially thankful for Thanksgiving season blessings and the break that we allows us time to enjoy the company of our family.

Thank you Toyota for sponsoring this great experience.

                                                      Image result for toyota symbol

Ralph Breaks the Internet


Ralph Breaks the Internet.




 6 years after Wreck it Ralph and audiences are being treated to a sequel that has excited fans that are eager to see what happens when Ralph Breaks the Internet on November 21st. This new story is funny, exciting, and inspirational that audiences of all ages can relate to as Ralph and Vanellope navigate the world of the internet and test their friendship.


                                          

 My family enjoyed the advanced screening of the movie and we walked away with valuable takeaways that began important learning discussions with my kids after the movie.
I had the awesome opportunity to discuss these points with the two movie directors, Phil Johnston and Rich Moore.
Here is the interview:






                                          



                                           





There were some moments in the movie that talked about the value of friendships, loyalty, and insecurities that people can go through no matter the age, race and gender. This movie went there and covered topics that a lot of us go through but sometimes are afraid to face them and deal with the consequences of what may happen.

As a blogger there are times that I face insecurity of my content, the friends that may come and go, and also those who are loyal no matter what. These are all real issues that people go through and I appreciate the two movie directors Phil and Rich for offering this new perspective of trust and self-confidence.

There were a LOT of hilarious moments in the movie that I couldn't stop laughing, especially the princess parts and more. Ralph Breaks the Internet has been my best movie experience this fall. Come with your family and remember to stay at the end of the credits for fun surprises.




Thank you to Disney for this great opportunity to interview the two movie Directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore.

Here is a Disney GIVEAWAY of a Ralph Breaks the Internet T-shirt and a cell phone charger. Enter below. a Rafflecopter giveaway







Sixty Vines in Plano


 Come to Sixty Vines in Plano to find a space to unwind and enjoy brunch on the weekends. Sixty Vines in Plano has been on my list of places to visit and I was thrilled at the invitation to try their brunch menu!



When you walk into Sixty Vines, it is like nothing I've seen in a restaurant. They have a very open,  modern and chill vibe in decor, style and feel of the restaurant. I felt like i was in someone's living room and being invited for a great meal. 




The first thing you will notice on the back wall is a great line up of wine on tap, which is intended to serve wine the way it should be chilled and perfect for every glass. There you will also find the Mimosa Bar catering to what you will need to make your mimosa unique to your palette. Expect to find sliced fruit, fresh squeezed fruit juices to complete your personalized mimosa. 




Chill out on the patio and request a seat by the fireplace if it is available. It is was were we sat on the patio and glad we chose to do so. There was a little chill in the air, but sitting near the fireplace was just enough warmth we needed.




The menu of wine and other drinks selection could be found on a tablet at each table, which is a cool twist on looking at a menu options. The drink selection is so vast that you really can try something new on each visit. 

I couldn't wait to order from the menu because everything looked like it would taste delicious so I really appreciated the waiter explaining the menu to us and suggesting a secret menu dish which is the short-rib Benedict, which is a brunch-time favorite for those that know. If you are a fan of short rib, polenta and poached egg, then order this exclusive dish.

Short-Rib Benedict 



 Texas Olive Oil- Citrus Cake


I ordered the fettuccine and I am glad that I did because this was on of the best pasta dishes that I have ever had, the creamy sauce, artichoke, grilled chicken was divine. I know this will be a dish I try again.


 Deviled Affogato 




The brunch menu here at Sixty Vines is well thought of and the attention to flavor combination is perfect. 

We are already scheming on when we will take our next visit here and I know that we will be back here soon, because we can't stop talking about the food, the experience, the vibe and the ambiance. 

This time I will opt to sit inside because the open modern theme is just to pretty that I want an Instagram picture. 



If you are a candle snob like me, you will appreciate the Rosemary candle by Ergo that is used throughout the restaurant and you will want to pick one up for your home. Make sure to buy one and thank me later. 


SMASHBURGER in Prosper,TX

 SMASHBURGER has opened a new location in Prosper located at the Gates of Prosper shopping center that is becoming a popular spot on that side of the town. And to have a new burger restaurant is a great place for families and friends to meet up on any given day to connect, is fantastic.



 I appreciate the attention to detail because this location offers great outdoor seating with a view, and something I haven't seen at other Smashburgers is a big screen TV inside to catch up on sports while enjoying a meal. 

 When my family arrived to Smashburger it was a fun ride to prosper. It was nice to get away from our normal routine in Irving and explore a new city. I think that is one of the best part of living in the metroplex is the different cities offering something new to visitors.

Smashburgers is making a name for itself by creating burgers that are delicious and the meat is fresh never frozen. This is essential because the tenderness of the meat is put on seasoned hot grill and smashed to perfection. Hence the name, Smashburger. 



 I am sucker for the classic burgers and Smashburger has the Classic Smash with all the traditional toppings, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, american cheese, smash sauce and served on a soft egg bun. That egg bun really holds all the flavors and the juicy meat together making it a great combo for the Classic Smash.


 Also the Truffle Mushroom Burger is packed with excellent seasoned truffle mayo , sauteed crimini mushrooms and served on an egg bun.




 My kids were super excited about getting a milkshake with their kids meal. The kids choose a kids SMASH meal and the crispy chicken tenders. This was as simple as it could get for a kids meal and they kids spiced it up and got tater tot and sweet potato fires. 






Pro-Tip- I would highly suggest that you get the smash-fries that are packed with flavors of olive oil, rosemary and garlic. The toppings are great on the sweet potato fries and well as the tots. Get creative. 

 I saw that on the menu that Smashburger offers a variety of salads. I will come agian next time and order the Classic Cob or the BBQ salad. This can be great for those on the KETO diet, just don't get any dressing and your are set. 

Thank you to SMASHBURGER for hosting my family on a nice family dinner. 

CozyPhones at 35,000 ft in the AIR!



 Have you flown on a plane or taken a long road trip with kids? Then you know what is needed to make your trip peaceful and relaxing. The CozyPhones headphones was exactly what we needed on our family trip to Oahu.



 Keeping the kids entertained can sometimes be a challenge on long trips and having them use headphones that are cozy and easy to wear made the downtime more entertaining. 

 The CozyPhones are made out of soft fleece and a flexible durable braided stereo 3.5mm cord. The kids had a choice of two designs and they chose the fox and the frog to wear on the plane.



 I received comments from moms on the plane and also the stewardess about the CozyPhones and how practical and soft they looked on the kids. 

 I agree that the fleece was soft and comfortable but I would not recommend to wear them in summer months because it can make the kids sweat. The CozyPhones are best used in cars, homes, planes and cool places. This makes it nice to curl up in a blanket and get cozy.

 The only issue I found was that the ear pieces would occasionally slide backwards in the sleeve of the bands.



 The CozyPhones really did help keep the kids stay quiet on their tablets and not disturb each other. Let's keep it real, screaming and fighting kids is not fun, and can be reduced with good and wholesome entertainment.

Thank you CozyPhones for letting the kids experience the softest headphones. #sponsored 


Grimaldi's Pizza , Grapevine, TX


It's in the dough!

 Grimaldi's is extremely loyal to their original tradition of making pizza since 1905. Grimaldi's is holding on to their traditions because it definitely makes great pizza and it all has to do with their coal - fired brick oven and the water used in their pizza dough. 
 It is an attention to detail that isn't found in a lot of places and it's nice to see pizzas being cooked in this style.


 The coal-fired brick oven sets Grimaldi's cooking style apart. Their signature clean burning coal delivers award winning deliciousness that can't be achieved with traditional wood or gas ovens. 
 The clean burning coal also helps bring out the unique and delicious flavors of their "secret recipe" sauce, handmade mozzarella cheese and dough.



 I have never been to New York, but Grimaldi's makes sure that the pizza here tastes just as good as the New York original. How? The restaurants here use reverse osmosis system to create the same taste of water to get the dough tasting true to its origins. 
 My family was impressed when the manger expressed the information to us because we felt our experience was a priority.



 Now, do I like the pizza? Yes, I really do. Honestly I am a Neapolitan pizza lover and it is difficult for me to change my pallet to a new taste.  
 New York style pizza is different, but the pizza here is really good. I ordered their seasonal special pizzas, the BBQ chicken pizza and the Brooklyn Bridge, both outstanding pizza's with bold flavors.


 I have never had BBQ chicken pizza, and what can I say? It was delicious. 
 The chicken and the BBQ sauce with a sprinkle of cilantro was fantastic. Great combinations for sure just like the Brooklyn Bridge pizza with creamy ricotta, hand picked sausage, and oven roasted peppers. The burst of flavors here is just dynamic.


 The summer menu which includes the fruity lemonades and Italian sodas can be infused with watermelon, strawberry and apple. My kids really liked the taste of the lemonades.
Also the strawberry spinach salad was a fresh and delightful complement to the meal.



 I can't get enough of the homemade blueberry and strawberry cheesecakes. They both were creamy and satisfying. I would recommend that you save room for these desserts. It so good and I can't stop thinking about how good they were.




 My kids especially had fun with the dough that the chef gave them to play at the table.

 You have until September 10th to enjoy this summer seasonal menu. Check them out and enjoy this authentic New York pizza dining experience with your family without ever leaving Texas.

Thank you Grimaldi's Pizza in Grapevine, TX for hosting my family.