Waco, Dallas and Forth Worth

The run down:

Let me start out by saying this was not our normal style of trip. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that my husband and I travel fast and furiously - covering a large swath of space in a short amount of time. We went to Texas to visit Kyle’s brother who moved to Grand Prairie to work for Lockheed Martin in their high speed wind tunnel. So, sight seeing wasn’t exactly at the top of our list. I only took about 130 photos during the entire trip.

Annnnnnnd… I was really sick. I had been fighting off a cold and a dry cough for a few days before we left so I loaded up on zinc tablets, elderberry and Airborne but not long after we landed it hit me, HARD. Traveling sick isn’t uhm… the most pleasant experience… to put it nicely.

It was also COLD. I mean, hell froze over in Texas C.O.L.D. Listen, we went to ICELAND in May and there were times that Texas was colder!! When we landed at DFW, it was 30 degrees and flurrying.

The kicker is, I packed about 3 days before we left and the weather was forecasted to be high 60’s - low 70’s and overcast. I checked before we went to bed the night before and it had dropped slightly but was still hanging out in the 60’s which, consider it was high 30’s at home, it sounded lovely. I’m not an idiot either… I was checking the weather frequently so I have no idea how I screwed this one up. But it ended up being colder in Texas than it was in Pennsylvania and I bought a deliciously thick sweatshirt from Magnolia Market and then found an REI to buy myself a Patagonia jacket.

I don’t have photos of it because we weren’t allowed to take our phones inside, but my brother-in-law arranged a tour of Lockheed’s United States Air Force Plant 4 for us to see the F-35 being built for both the United States military and many other countries! It was third shift when we visited so it was very quiet (which was lovely to be able to really take everything in) but the assembly line runs around the clock.

The building itself (and the assembly line within) is over a mile long and it’s completely indescribable. Seeing the F-35 being built was one thing, but taking in the building itself is another! We totally loved the massive horizontal cranes that move the planes and parts to different sections of the assembly line up near the ceiling. It was very cool to see the plane go from just composite pieces to wings, to frames to frames filled with tubing and electrical, to something that resembles a plane to an actual finished plane!

In Fort Worth, we got a little touristy and visited the Fort Worth Stockyards and then the Fort Worth Water Gardens (where you can literally walk down inside this massive fountain and I cannot understand how that’s not a huge liability!!).

The most laidback and spontaneous thing we did was ending up at Martin House Brewing Company. WIN, WIN, WIN! We went for their Saturday Open House and got 4 beers for $10. Alex was the sweetest, most helpful bartender! Even though that place got super packed she still remembered my name, took the time to answer my annoying questions and made this exhausted and sick traveler feel at home. This non-beer-drinker loved all four beers because of her! And I discovered that I really like sours!

I was totally in awe to walk around the Magnolia Market and Silos grounds and it was very surreal to stand where Lee Harvey Oswald forever changed the course of our nation. One is pretty - one is powerful. Both were amazing! I was completely obsessing over the different cameras on display at the Sixth Floor Museum (inside what was the Texas Schoolbook Depository building). And while exploring the silos in Waco, I was fan-girling and taking notes for my next DIY project.

The best places we ate and drank:

Magnolia Table, Waco
Heim BBQ, Fort Worth
Martin House Brewing Company, Fort Worth

For the photographers and the curious,
below images are a mix of iPhone X and Canon 5D MKiii with the f/2.8 24-70mm

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No-Spend February Recap

In case you missed it, we decided, after a busy and expensive holiday season, to do a no-spend month! Kyle and I agreed to say ‘no’ to spending unnecessarily on things like clothing, accessories, household decor, takeout, restaurant meals and general stuff.

So, now that it’s March, I thought I would share how we did!!

My initial thoughts are that we likely cut down on a lot of frivolous expenses. We didn’t go out to eat or order takeout at all. I didn’t just go wander around HomeGoods and bring home a candle or a rug. I didn’t buy Butters any toys or treats (I did stock up on treats at the end of January though) and the biggest thing… I didn’t buy any clothes. I have a problem, ya’ll. I love clothes. Especially comfortable ones. But, for the last six - eight months I’ve been buying all of my clothes thrifted from ThredUp (click to get $10 off your first order!!) or on clearance at Old Navy. However, not spending money on clothes for a month was a big win for me. I definitely want to keep that up.

Looking at our grocery bills I was sort of surprised at how much we still spent but I also felt like I was at the store at least once a week instead of once every two weeks. Without going out to eat, Kyle and I both had a lot of “there’s nothing in the house we want to eat” after the first week so instead of craving pizza and ordering pizza… we would crave pizza and then go wander around the grocery store trying to find things we’d want to cook and make at home. In some ways we probably spent more than if we had just ordered the pizza. I did also buy a bit of freezer stuff for my own lunches that won’t get consumed until March or even April.

Scroll down to see the recap of what we DID spend this month and on what!

 
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The Recap

$343.99 for groceries, household care (like toilet paper, laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent) and trip snacks for my wedding weekend in Pittsburgh

$86.76 in personal care (like cosmetics for a span of bad breakouts *unavoidable expense if I wanted to look presentable for my wedding weekend, stupidly expensive razor blades that I ran out of, new face wash, acne spot treatment and lotion

$22.74 at Lowes for marble threshold for our unfinished kitchen floors

$21.99 at the Home Depot on the gorgeous fiddle leaf fig above and some potting soil (this is my one big fail but it was such a steal!!!! and I can’t resist a fiddle on sale.)

$45.57 from Chewy.com for Butters dog food (Nutro Ultra)

$41.99 on new rack cards to send to venues which were a business expense

$12.00 on my February wedding couple’s client thank you gift also a business expense

$3.66 with USPS for shipping a client gift again, a business expense

I’m glad the month is over and we can freely order pizza and Chinese food again but I also love the idea of periodically doing challenges like this. While we will probably have a hard time making it practical for us during my busiest months of the year when we thrive on pre-prepared meals, it’s really important for us to force a daily reminder to be grateful for what we already have.