{Fun rolls in with The Trains at NorthPark}

Miles watches trains 2

The Trains at NorthPark is the most elaborate toy trains exhibit in Texas with 1,600 feet of track. Miles got a sneak preview today. He loved it! He is a huge fan of trains so this was a magical surprise for him.

Miles wow

Be sure to bring your camera! The trains roll through more than 4,000 square feet of U.S. vignettes including downtown Dallas, the Perot Museum, the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge and The White House. Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children 2 to 12 and seniors 65 and older. Children under 2 get in free and discounted tickets are available at Tom Thumb ($1 off).

Dallas skyline

I found the Cotton Bowl scene especially impressive. It’s amazing how much detail they have in these scenes. Miles loved watching the hot air balloons moving up and down. He has been talking about seeing the trains since we got home.

Cotton Bowl

This is the train exhibit’s 16th year at NorthPark Center and 27th year in Dallas. The exhibit is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. It opens Saturday, November 22, 2014 and runs through Sunday, January 4, 2015. (Early closings are scheduled for Nov. 26, Dec. 24, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. The Trains at NorthPark will be closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.)

White House

Thousands visit The Trains at NorthPark every year. For the last 27 years, the exhibit has raised money for the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. This fundraiser provides the funds for nearly one-third of their annual operating budget. The Ronald McDonald House of Dallas has served more than 35,000 families of seriously ill or injured children who have traveled to Dallas seeking medical treatment in area hospitals.

Miles watches trains 3

The exhibit is run by more than 1,500 volunteers working as individuals or in groups in three-hour shifts. For more information on how to volunteer or purchase a hand-painted railcar, visit thetrainsatnorthpark.com.

Miles and Mommy

Getting there:
NorthPark Center
(Level One between Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus)
8687 N. Central Expy
Dallas, TX 75225

{summer fun}

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Miles has been asking to go to the “pahk” (not sure where he gets his Boston accent) for days. He finally got to go to a park this morning. A splash park!

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It was our first time. He was wary of the water and all the people but warmed up after about 20 minutes and had a great time. He mostly stuck to the less crowded little river at one end of the play area.

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I’m so glad Cynthia suggested this for today’s play date. Our boys had fun and the weather was just right. It was just starting to feel too hot as we left.

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I know we still have a couple months of hot weather. It gets too hot for the regular park pretty early in the day so we may have to start checking out more of these water parks and splash pads.

{choose calm}

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James

When a powerful predator gives you the stare-down, it’s hard not to feel the itch of fight-or-flight. Just looking at these photos I took during our May visit to the Dallas Zoo makes me feel slightly more alert. I choose to think of it as being in the moment, not stressed or afraid.

But stress takes a toll, and sometimes I just need to shift my perspective and tell fight-or-flight to chillax already. There’s usually safety glass between us and the predators, anyway. Right? When those eyes popped open as I took these photos, I chose to keep taking pictures. If only I could maintain such calm when looking at my to-do list …

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{of elephants + writing}

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” – Stephen King

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I read that writing at least 15 minutes at the end of each day makes the writer perform better at his or her job, regardless of the industry. This makes me feel much better about my tendency to put off prepping my posts until the 11th hour. Who knows, maybe getting back to blogging this month is what got me to finally get around to these elephants.

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Today, I finally took the time to upload and edit photos from our trip to the Dallas Zoo a couple months ago. It was an unseasonably cool May morning for Miles’ second-ever trip to the zoo. This time Zach joined us too. The day was magical.

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We love elephants. We have elephant lamps on our bedside tables. There are elephant tchotchkes on our mantle and in the bathroom. Miles’ playroom has elephants on the wall, in boxes overflowing with other stuffed animals, and featured in several books. Seeing a child recognize an animal in real life is beautiful.

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Spring Bash day!

For the last few weeks I’ve been working to get ready for the Etsy Dallas Spring Bash. I have hand-stamped rows and rows of notebooks. I have used the changing table as a standing desk. I have stamped new covers to debut at the Bash.

The Spring Bash is today (April 26, 2014), and I’m so excited! Being a vendor at this event has been on my business bucket list for years. If you’re in Dallas, stop by The Shops at Park Lane and say hello.

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True Food Kitchen is magically delicious

Zach and I are kind of in love with True Food Kitchen in Dallas.

True Food Kitchen's squash pie

We went for our “date night” after trying it a few weeks ago for lunch. The first time we visited, it wasn’t especially busy. The service and food was awesome. We decided to come back again for dinner sometime.

It was much more crowded Friday night, of course, but well worth the hour wait. (I think we only actually waited 45 minutes.) Zach enjoyed an Old Fashioned while I tried the Medicine Man. I had sneezing fits all afternoon and evening, which magically ceased halfway through my drink. Medicine Man, indeed!

True Food Kitchen menu

The Panang Curry was so delicious the first time we visited. So I ordered it again. I know, I know. I’ll try something different next time. Maybe. Zach ordered the Miso Glazed Black Cod. I had no idea cod could be that good, y’all.

For dessert, I ordered the Squash Pie with coconut whipped cream. It. Was. Amazing. The pie was perfect and the coconut whipped cream kind of blew my mind. Be still, my dairy-free heart. Zach got the Chia Seed Pudding.

True Food Kitchen entrance

I know so many people who say they want more health-conscious, food-allergy-friendly restaurant options in Dallas. I hope True Food continues to do well. Actually, I hope it does so well they open more locations in the area. Perhaps one in Addison? Fingers crossed! Now if only we could afford to eat there every week.

birthdays on ice


For the last couple days, we have been mostly trapped inside by Icepocalypse 2013 (aka Winter Storm Cleon) here in DFW.


We are iced in. Cabin fever has gotten us out a couple times but the roads are awful so we mostly hunker down at home. (You know it’s bad when even all the Starbucks locations close early.)


Nothing makes you thankful for electricity like freezing temps and a few hours with a power outage. Thankfully ours came back quickly.


Today is my birthday. Yay! Spent the day with my favorite dudes and it was awesome. Oh, and I bought some fancy neon shoes. I wear the same sneakers almost every day until they fall apart. So keep your fingers crossed this neon trend lasts a few more years.


I hope you and yours are warm and toasty this weekend!