I love you a latte…

Date Night Posts

Raise your hand if you and your babe are the type of people that sit down at the beginning of the year to discuss goals and aspirations (while you can’t see both our hands are up) We love a new year and all that it has to offer (btw, if you don’t do this…do it! Hold each other accountable for what you want to accomplish and support one another’s goals and dreams) BUT…do you know what we love even more?!

Coffee…

Man, just sitting here thinking about it I get that warm feeling I get when I pour that first glorious cup ‘o joe in the morning (I will pause here for a sec so that you all can experience that same feeling I’m talking about). This year we sat down at one of our fav local coffee shops to dish about last year and rally for this year so this week we are sharing some of our favorite local coffee shops (we have too many to just choose one…duh!) and bonus – some tips for getting the new year convo juices flowing!

  1. AVOCA Coffee Roasters

AVOCA Coffee Roasters is an artisanal roastery and coffee shop and while they only have 2 physical locations (both in Fort Worth) their specialty roasted coffees can be found at a variety of retailers, coffee shops, and restaurants across Texas!

Okay y’all, I have to admit that this might be my favorite spot. As soon as you walk into their Magnolia Ave shop you are hit in the face with that freshly roasted/ground coffee smell that we all know. My go to here is a latte made with almond milk (holla to my dairy free peeps) and I usually cannot avoid having a cookie or scone to go with it. We typically will camp out at one of their tables or couch/comfy chairs to talk. The vibe of this place invites you in and is one of my favorite places to spend time with my babe and friends.

  1. Craftwork Coffee Co

Craftwork Coffee Co was onto something when the whole “co-working” idea swept the nation. The idea is that people want places to co-work but they also really want coffee so Craftwork said “Let’s give the people what they want – under one roof!”. Craftwork locations can be found in both Fort Worth and in Austin and while their co-working spaces are super legit (think wood accents, antique décor and 10/10 lighting quality) we wanted to share their coffee experience.

BTW, George slid me a note and wanted me to share this might be his favorite spot…Craftwork has a simple menu (which I totes appreciate because I butcher pronouncing half the drink names off a full coffee menu – I’m talking about you Affogato) What do we suggest? In George’s opinion you cannot go wrong with an Americano with cream and vanilla (honestly this is what he gets everywhere we go but he said Craftwork puts the right amount of “stuff” in it – man of many words peeps). If that is not your style – just ask them what is! The staff is super helpful and ready to help serve your coffee needs.

  1. Ascension

Ascension is a different kind of coffee shop that is catering to those that like coffee beans and grapes (aka wine wine) and a fun food menu that does not disappoint with locations all across the metroplex (closer to the “D” side of DFW) with a new location in Fort Worth coming soon! Ascension has the simple goal to elevate the everyday American café experience and they hit the nail on the head! They invest in their people, the products that they serve, the communities that they are located in and internationally by helping provide clean water, medical support and education/entrepreneurial initiatives.

You can’t go wrong with a classic latte but if you are feeling adventurous I suggest trying the Turmeric Chai Latte or the  9-Spice Chai Latte (think strong spice notes with hints of sweetness). I highly suggest you plan to stay and enjoy more than just the coffee though, the Avocado Toast is a café favorite since 2012 and you know how everybody makes pie but your grandma always makes the best version of pie – think of the Avocado Toast at Ascension in the same way. This place is so much more than a coffee shop and for that reason I recommend meeting there for drinks in the evening and then breakfast the next morning?

Let’s be honest though friends, there are so many great local coffee shops popping up everywhere – for that reason we listed some more of our favorites below and fully expect you to share your favorites also!

When George and I look at the new year and the things that we want to accomplish we typically will break down the conversation into 3 categories: Personal (specific to him and then specific to me), Professional, and then Joint goals.

Personal goals can be everything from starting a new routine (this is George’s this year) to trying to take more time to read and do the things that you actually enjoy doing (this is mine – side note about me I love to cook and write so I am making those things a priority). If you are having a hard time with this, think of something that you have always wanted to try or learn! Don’t feel pressured to choose something that you feel like you “have” to choose (i.e. loose weight or go to the gym…). Write down what you each want to accomplish individually and then ask your partner how you can help hold them accountable for it. George and I talk frequently about this but maybe try doing it once a week (on your date night?!) or more often to help hold you accountable.

Professional goals will vary for everyone but George and I both had very specific professional goals this year. We both work in finance but that does not mean that we even remotely understand what the other person goes through day to day. These goals will be specific to each other and while we always will hold each other accountable and encourage each other in these we also have found that having someone from your “inner circle” at work be in on these to help cheer you on and push you. 

Lastly and most importantly what are your joint goals for the year? The things that you want to go after as a couple. A few examples of this would be vacations, paying down debt or maybe it’s a goal to be more intentional with your time together. Whatever it may be talk about it! Don’t waste the moment and look back a year later wishing you had gone after that thing or gone on that adventure you guys have been dreaming about.

I love marriage and relationships because they give you so much more than just love and companionship but a true partner in life that is going to talk the talk with you then grab your hand and walk the walk with you also. Now…finish your coffee (if you are a slow sipper…) kiss your babe and go tackle this year.

Bonus Coffee Shop Suggestions:

  • Dwell Coffee and Biscuits – do not even get me started on their Gingerbread Latte and make sure you grab one of their Biswhiches (I love these clever people)
  • Black Coffee – recently opened hotspot that does not disappoint. The staff here is awesome and they have so many fun things to try!
  • Summer Moon – a wood fired roastery with locations across the metroplex and Texas. Their wood fired beans and secret Moon Milk is a must try!
  • George Coffee + Provisions – this place not only dishes out great coffee but is a 10/10 when it comes to photo ops
  • 151 Coffee – the customer service here is great and so if the coffee. George recommends the Irish Cream Coffee

New Year…who dis?

Date Night Posts

Well peeps, Happy New Year! Did you miss us?! Of course you did!

After a much needed break with family and friends celebrating the holidays…we back!

Date Night DFW has some really exciting things in the works for this year and we cannot wait to share them all with you! But first…will you do us a solid and share us with your friends? (Let’s be honest, date nighting with your bae is the best but date nighting with your bae and your BFFs…yes, please!)

Show off your love for your babe and your date night pride by sharing the image below and let’s do this 2020!

I like my whiskey like I like my man…Strong and from TX

Date Night Posts

Have you ever had one of those ideas where you think “this is definitely going to score me some bonus points?” this date night totally did that for me.

Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. was the first craft bourbon and whiskey distillery to be founded in North Texas. Sitting south of downtown Fort Worth on the grounds of the former Glen Garden Country Club on 112 acres, Whiskey Ranch offers not only beautiful views of downtown but also a tasting tavern where you can enjoy a cocktail from a Master Mixologist, a gift shop where you can grab a bottle of whiskey or (and) bourbon to take home with you and much more! This holiday season Whiskey Ranch is doing something extra special though – Holidays at TX Whiskey Ranch is a month long celebration of the season that is perfect for getting into the holiday spirit.

Last Friday George and I made the drive to Whiskey Ranch for the opening night of Holidays at TX Whiskey Ranch. I do have to stop and give credit to our sweet Instagram follower Carly though who notified us of the upcoming event, this gave us time to RSVP (general admission is FREE but they do require you RSVP for the day you wish to come) and get our name on a list for a tour of the distillery (which I highly suggest you do! Ticket are $10 and includes a cocktail ticket and a donation to the Soldiers’ Angels).

Driving up to the entrance we were greeted and instructed to follow the pathway up to the main campus and to check in at the guest center in order to get our evening started. Walking into the guest center was like peeking into a grown up equivalent of Santa’s Workshop as the warmly lit Ranch Store which housed holiday edition bottles of whiskey and bourbon awaited us. Since we had RSVPd online we skipped the line and were given our wristbands which allowed for us to join the 7pm distillery tour and our 2 free drink tickets (you are given the option to purchase more drink tickets for $8 – and yes we took the nice ladies offer on this).

Upon getting all checked in we had roughly 30 minutes to kill before meeting back at the guest center for our tour. Naturally, we started in the Ranch Store as it pretty hard to not automatically be drawn in; as mentioned earlier Whiskey Ranch released limited edition holiday bottles of both the TX Whiskey and TX Bourbon this year, along with that they are offering 5 different nights where you can have your bottle engraved for free.

Holiday edition bottles of TX Whiskey and TX Bourbon

Side note ladies and fellas – this makes for an excellent Christmas gift!

George decided on a bottle of the TX Bourbon and we dropped it off at the engraving station after checking out. The engraving station is open until 8pm but they will leave your newly engraved bottle on a table waiting for you so that you can continue on with your evening and avoid having to play “pass the heavy bottle of bourbon” all evening with your partner.

Our engraved bottle of TX Bourbon…George Christmas 2019

As you walk out of the Ranch Store towards the bar you will find yourself in one of my favorite parts of the venue – two long stretches of hallways filled with whiskey barrels floor to ceiling. There is something very cozy and eclectic about this stretch of the venue that gave me this warm and giddy feeling (I tried typing my exact feelings about this and honestly warm and giddy were the only words that I could use to describe how I felt). When we finally made it into the TX Tavern George and I both decided on the Pecan Old Fashion – they have a combination of cold and hot cocktails to choose from. This drink offered a strong whiskey flavor but had a sweet and pecan finish that I really liked.

Looking into the Oak Room
Walking into the TX Tavern
Obligatory picture in front of the Whiskey Barrels

With our drink in hand we decided we better get some food in us – the tour also was going offer a tasting and an empty stomach full of bourbon and whiskey wasn’t the adventure we had in mind for this evening. Whiskey Ranch does not serve food but there are food trucks that park at the front which allows for you to get food and still enjoy the venue. This evening we had two food options to choose from – pizza or street tacos and being a lover of all tex mex food we landed on the street tacos. After finding a place to sit and stuff our faces with food we, rushed to meet up with our tour group.

Our tour began in the Still House which is where the magic happens at Whiskey Ranch. When you walk in the door you are welcomed with a warm yeast smell, a giant copper column standing 50 feet tall, custom-made copper doubler and metal pipes connecting it all together. We began on the second floor though where we were guided through the entire fermentation and distilling process. This is also where we were able to taste test the whiskey and bourbon, very rarely do I ever drink whiskey or bourbon straight and man did it wake me up! I was totally the girl in the back coughing after every sip – but damn is that stuff smooth!

Tasting of the TX Whiskey

If you do not sign up to do the tour – they do offer free tastings that are first come first serve and you can sign up for that in the Ranch Store when you arrive.

As we continued our tour we were directed to the very large bubbling pot of fermenting yeast. We learned that the pot was bubbling purely because of the yeast eating the sugar, the heat coming off of the yeasty foam also was not from a heat source – just from good ol chemical reactions. Our tour guide told us that we could actually dip our finger into the sludge and taste it if we wanted to – which George totally did, his feedback was that is tasted like warm yeasty water, so pretty much exactly what it is!

Giant vat of bubbling warm yeast
“It tastes like warm yeasty water”

Heading back downstairs the last stop of the tour led us to 5 jars which showed what the liquor looked like at each stage in the aging process. I found this part to be very interesting as I didn’t realize the liquor was actually clear at the time the aging process started – duh Ashton, ever heard of White Lightening?! Aka moonshine??

Aging process of the liquor

Once the tour wrapped up came the main event of the opening night of Holidays at Whiskey Ranch – the lighting of the 30 foot Whiskey Barrel Christmas tree. Walking into the courtyard everyone was gathered in front of a fire which faced not only downtown Fort Worth but also the hallowed barrel tree.

A countdown was given an in a burst of Christmas celebration the tree was lit and “snow” began to fill the air. It was definitely my favorite part of the evening with Christmas music playing in the background, snow falling from the sky and getting to experience it with my favorite guy.

TX Whiskey Barrel Christmas Tree

As we headed back into the TX Tavern we were ready to warm up with a “hot” cocktail and ended up getting the S’mores Hot Chocolate – which I cannot recommend enough especially if you love chocolate. I have since made this at home because who would have thought of mixing hot chocolate and whiskey?! I have a lot to learn obviously. We also stopped and got a sweet treat from Sweet Lucy’s Pies who was featuring a Whiskey Pecan Pie that we just had to try. Don’t judge us on this also – we got a small one to share…

The final event of this evening led us to the Oak Room where Mike and the Moonpies were going to finish off the night. Seating filled up quickly but we were able to find a spot tucked in the back that still gave us a great view of the stage and allowed us to dig into our pecan pie.

Mike and the Moonpies playing the Oak Room

I couldn’t help but feel so lucky to be where I was as the night came to a close. I know not every night can be this extravagant with your babe but when you have those nights sprinkled in that truly take you out of your routine they are special.

Our evening at Whiskey Ranch had so much to offer. I truly would put this on your list of “must dos” whether it is this holiday season or just scheduling a tour – you will not be disappointed!

Cheap Eats and Drinks and Geeks, oh my!

Date Night Posts

What would you say if I told you that it really is possible to have a date night filled with food, drinks, and entertainment (and yes love and laughter and happiness of course) with spending less than $30? Let me guess, you’re thinking….

“Wow, you guys are amazing, date night really doesn’t have to be a luxury!”

This week we wanted to start out by eliminating those excuses that date nights are limited to extravagant evenings and sometimes it’s the simple “let’s just go eat and drink beer” times that truly allow you to relax and enjoy togetherness. Now don’t get me wrong, your girl loves her a steakhouse and we will get to those soon but for tonight we are going to show you where the $30 in our pocket got us.

Crockett Row at West 7th in Fort Worth, Texas is one of my favorite places in the Metroplex, they have everything from art installations and galleries, outdoor seating areas and duh food and drinks. One of my “go to” locations in this area is the recently opened Food Hall – think food court but on a much classier scale; some of my favorite vendors include Aina Poke Co., Knife Burger & Bar, and Val’s Cheesecakes (more on these later).

Side story – did anyone else as a kid just love going to the mall food court?! I remember as a kid my family would go to the mall just for the food court…anyone else….no? okay.

Food Hall also offers a variety of events throughout the week and weekend. Every Friday and Saturday they offer live music and during the week they have partnered with Geeks who Drink for open to the public and free trivia nights from 7pm – 9pm! Which brings us to our date night….

Our goal this week was go spend no more than $30 for our date night; this means that food, drinks and any sort of entertainment all had to stay within our budget. We pulled into Crockett Row and parked in one of the 5 parking garages making sure to mentally note to get our ticket validated (if not, it’s $20 – we are on a budget remember? and who wants to pays for parking when validation is an option anyways?!) Walking into the Food Hall we navigated our way to the open seating section next to the bar and promptly grabbed our Trivia answer book.

Realizing we had a few minutes to spare before trivia started we split up to get food (THE best part about a food court – you each can get exactly what you want!) I landed on Aina Poke Co. which allows you to build your own poke (marinated fish) bowl, the concept is simple, delicious and bowls start at $12 – within budget! George headed over to Knife Burger & Bar for a double cheeseburger and some fries (girlfriends, who else loves it when your boo gets a side of fries?! Free snacks!) Lastly George grabbed a beer at the bar. All in, dinner was $28.97 – ahhh yyyeaahhh $1.03 under budget.

The 5 minute warning was given for the start of trivia and candidly George and I started to get a little nervous. It appears that the evenings “theme” was current events/random trivia questions – I mean we are hip and cool but on a trivia level…not so much. The rules were pretty simple though: 8 rounds – 5 rounds of questions asked by the Quizmaster (yes, that is the official title), 2 rounds of audio, and 1 round where you are given a piece of paper with clues and you have to give the answers based on the visual clues. Each team is also granted one “Joker” usage which allows for the team to double the points received for the round they opt to use it. Finally, a few of the rounds offers a bonus question allowing each team an opportunity to gain a few extra points.

Round 1 entailed current events – small note about George and I, we rarely watch the news… our present ingest of “current events” include subscription email blasts we read in the mornings and Saturday/Sunday game day programming. I think our point total for this first round was 3-4 points and rounds 2-3 were not much better. Round 4 was my favorite though which was the first audio round of the evening. The gist of the audio round was to guess the name of the song and the artist by listening to covers of songs. Covers – was a loosely based description, these songs musically matched the song but the vocals sounded like Beaker from the muppets was singing, we had many of great laughs this round. As this round ended we were informed of the current rankings….The George’s current standing…dead last!

Heading into the final 3 rounds we had accepted the fact we were not going to be the winners of the trivia game but we both had laughed and talked about so many random things prompted by trivia questions that we still felt like the night was a winner.

Then IT happened…the last bonus question round winners were announced – one of which was going to be chosen at random to win a Bonus Question Token. The question was: What was Nellie Bly able to do in 72 days that took Magellan and his team 3 years to do? Our answer: sailing an ocean – sounded like a good guess to us. Not only did this answer get us in the bonus question winner bracket but random draw elected us as the winner of the Bonus Question Token aka free item at the Food Hall!

Queue George and I quietly singing “we are champions my friends…..” at our table.

Wrapping up the game we actually ended up winning the dead last ranking!! Go team Georges! We agreed that this would be a fun evening with a group of people but all in all we got out of the house, ate some good food, and did something together that we would not have regularly done – all under $30 also!

Parting Trivia Question: Which George had to walk back into Food Hall due to forgetting to get the parking ticket validated?

This guy!