Birthplace: Mexico, Adopted to the US at 6 weeks of age
Family/Kids: Husband Seth, sons Drew (20 currently in the Navy), Brad (15, soon to be a freshman at Clark), Tinsley 15 months old
Let’s welcome Plano Mom, Kendall! Come meet more about her and her family 🙂
Birthplace: Mexico, Adopted to the US at 6 weeks of age
Family/Kids: Husband Seth, sons Drew (20 currently in the Navy), Brad (15, soon to be a freshman at Clark), Tinsley 15 months old
What’s on her DVR: The Bachelorette, Real Housewives, Million Dollar Listing New York
Favorite Plano Restaurant: Urban Crust
Meet Plano Mom, Carolina
Birthplace: Cali – Colombia
Occupation: Business Owner
Family/Kids: 3 Girls
What’s on her DVR: Bachelorette
Favorite Plano Restaurant and why: Gloria’s
Favorite date night spot around Plano: Watter’s Creek (Allen)
Beverage of choice: Corona
Words she lives by: Empower other women/ God # 1
Favorite app: Makeup 360
Beauty product she can’t live without: Motives Cosmetics
Dream vacation: Maui
If she had more hours in the day, she would: Be in the sun
Favorite thing to do in Plano: Walks and Parks
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We have so many Plano Moms that are transplants all over the country and the world. Here’s one Mom’s story of the journey on relocating to Plano with her family. This story is written by Shailaja Keely. The images are hers.
Relocation sounds so easy. I wish it was as simple as ‘just pick up your things and go’. If you’re married & have a toddler, like me, then you know it’s HUGE work.
I am from India & have come to this beautiful country, the United States of America, to pursue higher education in 2009. Soon, I began working as a consultant – got to explore new cities/states and had the opportunity to work with some of the best clients, learn about businesses and make good friends and memories along the way.
Even after traveling quite a few times, this is one of the biggest relocation I have ever done as I have been working for the same company in the last 5years. So, Kentucky will remain very special to me – I have not just built my memories but I’ve lived my dreams here. My life & myself as a person, have changed in more ways than I could describe. I made good friends, colleagues; got married to my best friend (who I dated for 10+ years), and went on to have our beautiful daughter.
Therefore, it took me a while to accept the idea of moving out of KY to TX, although I was informed about the upcoming move 2 years ago. It didn’t feel real & we kept putting our plans off until we got closer to the move time. I felt so lost, not knowing where to begin & my heart raced in many directions at once.
Very quickly I could see things picking up momentum and we began making a list of things to take care of amidst all of it. We could see pros, first one being weather (very similar to that of India’s climate); second, bigger city meant more opportunities, third, better schooling for our little one and lastly but importantly, have better flights back home (anyone who travels to India would agree that direct flights are much easier to manage). The biggest con for us right now is the expenses –it will be my personal expenses and not company provided. And, timing is off too – because of several companies (at least that I know of) moving to Plano, TX, the cities and neighborhood have gotten EXPENSIVE. So, it is a huge slam on our budgets.
Some of the questions we started off with were – where to live? Plano, Frisco, McKinney, etc. Should we get a house or rent an apartment? What about my daughter’s child care? It was a great accomplishment to get her used to the current child care and teachers around her. I still remember her first few weeks at the child care, (we started her childcare when she was 6 months old), I would spend almost anywhere between 1-2 hrs/day & then call her teachers almost every hour or two to ask how she was doing. Now, at 17months, she loves her daycare – made friends, loves all her teachers but also has a favorite one.
And, what we dread the most? PACKING!! Being a working woman & a first-time mom to a toddler (do I need to say that hubby is a grown-up kid here?) is a challenge. It was not until maybe 2 weeks ago that reality hit us hard and we began to realize all the tasks. I know we want to live in McKinney, TX but a school for my daughter is still work in progress. Other laundry lists of things to do would be to – setup electric, internet, water connections; get renter’s insurance, and then disconnect all the said services in KY etc.
I do picture my sweet family, holding our hands, walking along the parks, nature trails or even shop at the Galleria of Dallas or Allen Premium Outlets. I can imagine us with almost no jacket/winter gear every winter or shovel the snow from our cars. I might be walking into hails but that’s a different story. I just hope my daughter someday understands how special KY is to us, as a family, and as her birth place. Right now, she is keeping mommy busy – by unpacking everything her dad & I packed ;). If this continues, it might take forever for us to move out of here.
Looking forward to seeing you all in Plano, TX.
Meet Plano Mom, Uma
Birthplace: Pune, India
Occupation: Owner, Pastry Chef at Tart-a-licious
Family/Kids: 1 husband (of 9 years) and 2 boys (Avyaan- 4 yr and Advay – 2 yr)
What’s on her DVR: I don’t use DVR. I love watching ‘The Chef’s Table’ and ‘Abstract’ on Netflix. I am also catching up on Games of Thrones
Favorite Plano Restaurant and why: R Tacos – Love their tacos and frozen margaritas, Mah-Jong Chinese Kitchen, Sushi Lover
Favorite date night spot around Plano: 60Vines
Beverage of choice: Martini Bianco, Bold Red Wines, Cold Beer
Words she lives by: Never Give Up
Favorite app: Canva (for Instagram)
Beauty product she can’t live without: Good Fox Co’s Red Tea; Rose- Body Oil
Dream vacation: Paris
If she had more hours in the day, she would: Bake Some More 🙂
Favorite thing to do in Plano: Explore places to eat (for me) and playgrounds (for kids). I am looking forward to the Balloon Festivals that I have heard so much about.
Based in Dallas, Bag Bug is a designer house of innovative accessories, bridging the gap between the fashionable and the practical. The first patent-pending product designed by a woman for women is the Bag Bug™, an accessory created to help keep your handbag from constantly slipping off the shoulder, while adding comfort, and accessory appeal.
The Bag Bug™ can also be used to keep your purse off the floor by hanging it on the corner of a table, bar, or countertop, as well as on the back of a (round) chair! Bag Bug™. Wear it, Love it, Adore it.
The Bag Bug™ can be used on both round and flat straps, and most strap materials (cloth, leather, plastic, rope).
Everyone’s shoulders are different. You may have more than one handbag or diaper bag that you like to use. Because of this, my recommendation is for you to test different areas of your shoulder for the “sweet spot” of comfort. For me, the Bag Bug™ feels most comfortable toward the front of my shoulder. For others, that sweet spot is right in the middle of the shoulder. So, play with it, move it around and find your comfortable sweet spot! Keep in mind that sweet spot may be different when you switch purses and/or strap types.
The best way to decide which shape of Bag Bug™ to get for your purse is to determine if the majority of your purses have round or flat straps, to begin with. Tip: If the straps are flat and thick, the round shaped Bag Bug™ works best as it opens up wider and holds wider straps than the flat shaped Bag Bug™.
The Bag Bug™ can be used on most types of bags: Cocktail purses, small, medium, large and extra-large purses, with flat or round straps, including laptop and diaper bags.
Attaching the Bag Bug™ onto your handbag with a Round Strap(s) or Flat Strap(s):
Here’s a helpful video that demonstrates how to attach your Bag Bug™, and shows you how to get the most out of your Bag Bug™!
Removing the Bag Bug™ from your handbag with a Round Strap(s) or Flat Strap(s):
Note: The Bag Bug™ is designed to remain on the strap(s) you place it on. You can remove it at any time and it can be used daily.
How to select the color of your Bag Bug™:
I like to match the color of the purse’s hardware (the metal clasps, buckles, etc) to the color of the Bag Bug™. Each Bag Bug™ comes in 3 different colors: Silver, gold-plated, and rose gold-plated.
An offer for Plano Moms: Through the end of June only, get any Bag Bug™ online for just $29!!! That’s a saving of 30% to 60%!! To redeem, simply go to www.bag-bug.com, select your Bag Bug™ from the Boutique tab of the website, and at checkout enter the
PROMO CODE: PLANOMOMS29
Any other time, if you’re a Plano Mom, you get 25% OFF any Bag Bug™ purchased online.
To redeem, simply go to www.bag-bug.com, select your Bag Bug™ from the Boutique tab of the website, and at checkout enter the PROMO CODE: PLANOMOMS25%
Meet Plano Mom, Courtney Echols
Birthplace: San Francisco
Occupation: Special Events Manager, Fitness Instructor
Family/Kids: Ripken (4), Millie (2)
What’s on her DVR: This is Us
Favorite Plano Restaurant: Urban Rio
Favorite date night spot around Plano: Sixty Vines
Beverage of choice: Green Juice
Words she lives by: ‘You are your only limit’
Favorite app: Mindy Body
Beauty product she can’t live without: Daily moisturizer and sunscreen
Dream vacation: Anywhere with a beach
If she had more hours in the day, she would: Make a home garden
Favorite thing to do in Plano: Live, Work, Play
Well, the countdown is on, summer holidays are rapidly approaching. If you’re anything like me, I love to have a list of things up my sleeve for those days when the dreaded “I’m bored” words ring in my ears. I try and balance out some at home days with some adventures out of the house. And if it’s a free or cheap adventure, everyone is happy! My kids are 12, 9 and 6 so finding something that everyone enjoys can be a challenge to say the least.
Now, some of these we haven’t tried before and some are my family’s favorites. I’ve limited my list to within Dallas but focusing on Plano, Frisco, Little Elm area.
Both Cinemark and Studio Movie Grill are offering selected films at $1 over the summer. See their website for details. We also love the Coyote Drive In at Lewisville.
3. Hawaiian Falls
I love Hawaiian Falls but with 3 kids, I usually save this for a weekend when I can get my husband or another adult to come with me so we keep our eyes on everyone at once. We always take our own cooler in with lunch and drinks and might treat the kids to an ice-cream or snow cone on our way out.
Our favorite is the Frisco Athletic Center. We love that you can take a cooler in (no glass or alcohol) and enjoy a free day out if you are a member or pay the small entry fee if you’re not. There are two great little kid’s areas, a big slide for the bigger kids and an awesome lazy river. We haven’t yet been but will definitely be checking out the Jack Carter pool this summer, it has a diving board, a lazy river and a flow rider! There is also the Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center close by which has splash pad, diving board and a slide.
5. Video Game Museum
If you haven’t been, you should check it out. My kids loved it and at the end of the museum is an 80’s style arcade (not to mention the 80’s tunes!!) and your entry gets you 4 tokens which gets you 4 games. You can buy extra tokens – 4 for $1. We only went a few weeks ago and my kids are already asking to go back.
6. Dallas Museum of Art and Klyde Warren Park
My kids love being downtown and eating at the food trucks and playing in the park at Klyde Warren. It’s right across the road from the Dallas Museum of Art so makes for a great day out. DMA offers free entry every day and has a great summer family fun program from June 13 to August 11.
Most offer cheap deals over the summer like Strike and Pinstack, usually if you get there before 10am but if you register at www.kidsbowlfree.com – you can bowl for free, you just pay for your shoes. Registered kids get two free games of bowling every day of the summer for free! There is a one time payment of $5 per child to register and the closest is probably Plano Super Bowl.
A similar program to the bowling, it’s at www.kidsskatefree.com and the closest to us is Interskate at Lewisville. Ice-skating at Galleria is also lots of fun
We love both the Dallas Zoo (especially feeding the giraffes) and the Fort Worth Zoo (love the walk in bird exhibit). We’ll try and pick a cooler day and go early to avoid the heat, the animals aren’t overly active when it’s so hot
10. Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch
I have been meaning to take the kids here for ages, there’s always a groupon! It’s about 45 minutes away and is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays only from 10-5.
Usually as summer approaches, I ask my kids to write down some things they’d really like to do on a piece of paper and we try and schedule all these things in too. Try it out, you’ll be surprised what they ask to do – a trip to the library, or going out for ice-cream always make it on to our lists.
We are blessed to live in an amazing part of the world with so many kid friendly things to do and amazing weather to enjoy it in. Don’t forget all the wonderful aquariums, museums, LEGOLAND (it has a small splash pad too!), splash pads, the list is endless…
It’s worth checking out the great deal with Plano Moms and Pogo Pass – for $39.98. You get access to quite a lot of these activities mentioned above and a whole lot more. And the best part is that you have a year to use it. Get yours now: https://dallastx.pogopass.com/
Enjoy your summer vacation!
What’s your favorite thing to do with kids over the long hot summer? I would love to hear of any I may not know about.
Melissa, Guest Blogger for Plano Moms
Birthplace: Lincoln, Nebraska
How long she’s lived in Plano: 7 yrs
Occupation: Stay at home mom
Family/Kids : Married in May 2009, 5 kids: 18 yr old Boy (Chance), 11 yr old girl (Makenna), 7 yr old girl (Jasmina) 6 yr old (Novera), and 16 month old (Noah).
What’s on her DVR: Don’t have a DVR, but favorites on Netflix are: Vampire Diaries, Lost Girl, Being Human, The Originals, Pretty Little Liars
Favorite Plano Restaurant and why: P. F. Chang’s: love their sesame chicken and crab rangoon
Favorite date night spot around Plano: Shogun in McKinney
Beverage of choice: Mt. Dew or Iced Coffee from Starbucks
Words she lives by “Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy”
Favorite app: Facebook (so I can keep up with everything on the go), Pandora, & Ibotta
Beauty product she can’t live without Bath & Body Works Lotion
Dream vacation: A trip to Bora Bora to relax and enjoy the crystal clear water
If she had more hours in the day, she would have more mommy time. It gets a little busy with 5 kids in the house.
Favorite thing to do in Plano: Keep up with new businesses in the area and try them out so I have new places to shop and places to take my kids
No, me neither, I am not sure if it’s the mountain of stuff that you need to take with you, the bugs, sleeping in a tent, did I mention the bugs??????? But if you can get past those things, as I have learned to do, there’s a whole world of adventure out there! Just remember to pack the insect repellent!
Over Easter, we discovered a hidden gem, just an hour’s drive from Dallas – Eisenhower State Park in Denison Texas.
Now before I start, a little about my family. There’s my husband and I and our three kids – they are 6, 9 and 12. We love a road trip, we love an adventure, we love exploring new places and having been in Texas for only 3 years after a big move from Australia, everything is exciting, new and interesting to us. I am just obsessed with those tiny Texas towns but I digress…
This is what their website has to say – “Rentals and marina services are provided by a privately operated marina located in the park. Park visitors can hike and bike on scenic trails that border the lake shore. An ATV trail offers enthusiasts a place to ride along the wooded hills of the park’s backcountry (OHV permit required), Shaded campsites accommodate RVs and tents as well as screened shelters, group facilities, and a limited service cabin.”
At Eisenhower State Park, we enjoyed two nights of swimming, boating, hiking and family time. There are a couple of things I really love about camping and I guess that’s what keeps me coming back for more – I love seeing my kids play outside all day and go to bed when the sun goes down, exhausted and a little dirty, without any electronics in sight, without electricity even. It’s back to the simple things in life. The other thing I love is the campfire at night – sitting around the campfire, cooking dinner, chatting, enjoying my favorite beverage, and admiring the stars. “The stars at night, are big and bright…..”, you know how the song goes, well that’s what it’s like when you’re camping.
The cost of campsites varies between $12 and $20 (as at April 2017) depending on peak season and whether you have electricity or not. The great place about this campsite is that it is right on the shores of Lake Texoma, a huge man-made dam. There is a “beach” which the kids loved and a marina where you can rent canoes, pontoon boats, kayaks and paddle boards. We took a pontoon boat out one morning and the kids loved jumping over the side to swim.
Now, I get it, if you’ve never been camping before, it can seem a little intimidating. But if you want to give it a try, here’s what you need – a tent (borrow one from a friend if you can to see if you like it), bedding – if you don’t have sleeping bags, no need to go out and buy, pillows, sheets, blankets from home are fine too, they just don’t roll up as small, we have a couple of air mattresses but a yoga mat would be good too!
In terms of cooking, you can make this as simple or as gourmet as you choose. We typically plan before we go and shop accordingly when camping. We usually camp with at least one other family and do our own breakfasts and lunches but take turns to prepare the evening meal. This time we ate out for breakfast one morning at this cute diner called the Gourmet Waffle Shop and it was delicious. For breakfast, we typically cook bacon and eggs wrapped up in a tortilla, the kids sometimes have cereal. Lunch we usually prepare at breakfast time so we can head out for the day on a hike or to the beach. Dinner can be as simple as hot dogs or we cooked chicken fajitas this time and our friends cooked a yummy chili on their night. You can cook in an old skillet over the fire or on a gas burner. You will need firewood but can usually buy that from the state park or from a local gas station (we got some from the local Walmart about 10 minutes from the state park). And don’t forget the smores – the best part of camping food!
On your way home, check out the Eisenhower Birthplace Historic Site and downtown Denison is really cute too!
Now, what are you waiting for?? Clear the calendar, pack the car (dogs welcome!) and set off on your adventure. The kids will love it, real memory making stuff here, and I think you will love it too. Just don’t take my favorite campsite, ok?
And if I still haven’t convinced you, this place would make a great day trip too!
This is a Guest Post written by Melissa Beaumont.