Weekends Count Magazine - November and December 2018 Issue

Weekends Count - Nov. Dec. by jennifertedwards The newest issue of the Weekends Count magazine is published. YES - the November and December 2018 issue are finally released! Check out the Table of Contents!

- 12 Hour Road Trip from DFW to Austin

- Visit the Erin Condren Flagship Store

- Top Ten Things To Do at the Erin Condren Store!

- Avoid the Holiday Panic & Stress

- Dallas with Kids: 3 Days Outdoors Itinerary

- Black Friday Shopping Tips

- Weekend Reading Recommendations

- Holiday Cooking & Baking Essentials

- Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

- 7 Fun Things to do with Kids in East Texas

- 10 Must Have Family Travel Accessories

- Thanksgiving Family Food and Fun



What did you like the best about this month's magazine? Write your comments below!

Engage with the WeekendsCount Community - https://www.facebook.com/groups/weekendscountcommunity/

Copy of September. by jennifertedwards

Have a great week and plan for the weekend!

Sincerely,

The @WeekendsCount Family!


About Weekends Count - Weekends Count is a Millennial Family Travel, Fun, Food and Activities blog based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. We review hotels, travel and household items, and millennial family experiences!

Authors - Jennifer and Tony Edwards

Here's a link to our press kit/media kit - http://www.weekendscount.com/p/our-media-kit.html

Contact Information:
1030 East Highway 377 Suite 110
Box #145
Granbury TX 76048
817-382-8475
Send us an Email! We are PR friendly! - weekendscount@gmail.com

Our Social Media Channels:
Check Us Out on YouTube! - http://www.youtube.com/weekendscount/
Become a Fan of Facebook! - http://www.facebook.com/weekendscount/
Follow Us on Twitter! - http://www.twitter.com/weekendscount/
Look for Us on Instagram! - http://www.instagram.com/weekendscount/
Discover the Weekends Count Blog! - http://www.weekendscount.com

Remember to Purchase or Download Our Family Travel Book on Amazon! - Family Travel Hacks and Tips for Any Budget!

24 Hour Travel - From DFW Airport to Denver, Colorado on United Airlines


What happens when you want to travel and you only have from 5pm on Friday to 6pm on Sunday? Yeah, you know the typical workweek? You just have to plan around it!

So, this means that we have to book a ticket a couple of weeks to two days ahead of time (yes, I am famous for this as well). Recently, we booked a ticket from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW) to Denver, Colorado Airport (DEN) on United Airlines. We arrived at 8:30 am and then we quickly checked-in at the Westin Denver Airport hotel, which was FABULOUS!

9:00 am - Then, we purchased light rail tickets from the airport to downtown. The ride was around 25 minute and it was a scenic trip for our family to view the terrain of Denver. Then, we realized that the 24 hour rail pass included MANY routes (that we plan to explore soon). We disembarked at the main downtown station and we walked around downtown Denver.


10:00 am Tattered Cover Bookstore - Our first stop was the the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver. It featured an amazing mannequin in the bookstore and this is definitely a bookstore picture stop! Also, the children's reading section was excellent!

10:30 am - Centennial Gardens Park - We also visited Centennial Gardens Park to view the gardens. In addition, the gardens, there is a great under the bridge photo opportunity! While we were walking under the bridge we saw several Lime Bike Riders. It seems like a great way to explore the city!

11:00am - Confluence Park - After our visit to the park, we walked to a downtown falls area (Confluence Park) and it was absolutely beautiful! Great for pictures and then for a quick bite to eat (we brought food from Texas and it was still cold)!



12:00 pm (Noon) - We visited 7-11 downtown because my little one wanted ice cream. So, we purchased three pints (with spoons) and walked downtown to eat our treats in the downtown gardens area).

1:00 pm - We walked to view the Big Blue Bear and then we visited the local Convention and Visitor's Bureau for more information about downtown. THEN, they told us about a local (and free) music festival that was by the downtown library and capital building. We walked four to five blocks and the festival was great! Many vendors, many free samples (Haribo, Sahale Snacks, and a milk company).


4:00pm - Then, we walked back downtown to find this mini golf area by the Westin Hotel and my little one LOVED it! It was free and she is such a mini golf fan!

5:00pm - We ordered a gluten free pizza (with napkins and plates) and then boarded the light rail from downtown Denver to the Westin Airport hotel.

6:00pm - We arrived back in the hotel and then we ate the pizza in the hotel room while watching a movie.

7:00pm - We began preparing for bed for a 8:00am flight the next morning.

As you can see, we had a fun-filled, great time that lasted for 24 hours instead of an entire week. This was fabulous for our work schedules and we were able to accomplish MORE in less time!

Travel to Denver, Colorado on United Airlines from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport is a quick and easy flight from Texas. We embrace 24 hour travel during the weekends for our busy Texas family. In Denver, we played free mini golf downtown, enjoyed the downtown parks. We stayed at the Westin Airport hotel and it was a simple train ride to Downtown Denver. We enjoyed seeing the big blue bear outside of the convention center. Have a great week and plan for the weekend!

Sincerely,

The @WeekendsCount Family!


About Weekends Count - Weekends Count is a Millennial Family Travel, Fun, Food and Activities blog based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. We review hotels, travel and household items, and millennial family experiences!

Authors - Jennifer and Tony Edwards

Here's a link to our press kit/media kit - http://www.weekendscount.com/p/our-media-kit.html

Contact Information:
1030 East Highway 377 Suite 110
Box #145
Granbury TX 76048
817-382-8475
Send us an Email! We are PR friendly! - weekendscount@gmail.com

Our Social Media Channels:
Check Us Out on YouTube! - http://www.youtube.com/weekendscount/
Become a Fan of Facebook! - http://www.facebook.com/weekendscount/
Follow Us on Twitter! - http://www.twitter.com/weekendscount/
Look for Us on Instagram! - http://www.instagram.com/weekendscount/
Discover the Weekends Count Blog! - http://www.weekendscount.com

Remember to Purchase or Download Our Family Travel Book on Amazon! - Family Travel Hacks and Tips for Any Budget!

24 Hour Travel Adventure in Minneapolis - Nickelodeon Universe in the Mall of America

When you find the perfect indoor theme park for your family, you HAVE to embrace it! Recently, when we discovered CHEAP tickets from DFW Airport to Minneapolis, Minnesota on United Airlines and I had to research the city.

So, I discovered that Minneapolis was the home of Prince and the Mall of America. I KNEW that Mall of America also contains Nickelodeon Universe. During dinner, our family watches theme park videos and Nickelodeon Universe was one of the recent videos.



In Minneapolis, we traveled via the light rail from the airport to the Mall of America (a 10 minute ride). When we arrived there, we walked through the mall with our luggage and headed to our hotel (the JW Marriott in the Mall). After organizing our items in the room, we headed down to the Nickelodeon Experience. We had a GREAT time! Then, we visited the American Girl store and it was EPIC for our little one! After everything we experienced in the day, we headed to the Flyover America and it was a great way to end the evening, but WAIT there's more!

We grabbed some noodles from Noodles and Company and we were SURPRISED by a light display (with amazing music) in the Nickelodeon Experience. We definitely enjoyed the experience! You should definitely take this cheap trip from DFW Airport or Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Have a great week and plan for the weekend! Remember to give the video a thumbs up!

Sincerely,

The @WeekendsCount Family!


About Weekends Count - Weekends Count is a Millennial Family Travel, Fun, Food and Activities blog based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. We review hotels, travel and household items, and millennial family experiences!

Authors - Jennifer and Tony Edwards

Here's a link to our press kit/media kit - http://www.weekendscount.com/p/our-media-kit.html

Contact Information:
1030 East Highway 377 Suite 110
Box #145
Granbury TX 76048
817-382-8475
Send us an Email! We are PR friendly! - weekendscount@gmail.com

Our Social Media Channels:
Check Us Out on YouTube! - http://www.youtube.com/weekendscount/
Become a Fan of Facebook! - http://www.facebook.com/weekendscount/
Follow Us on Twitter! - http://www.twitter.com/weekendscount/
Look for Us on Instagram! - http://www.instagram.com/weekendscount/
Discover the Weekends Count Blog! - http://www.weekendscount.com

Remember to Purchase or Download Our Family Travel Book on Amazon! - Family Travel Hacks and Tips for Any Budget!

Seven Travel Books for Children - Road Trips with Kids and Great Christmas Presents


As an only child, I had to discover ways to discover the world through other people's eyes in a book. Books enable children to visit places around the United States and the world without leaving thier house. Through our local library, the Sammy Brown Library in Carthage, Texas, I traveled to China with Big Bird and to France with Madeline.

Your children can travel to unique destinations as well. Through the bookstore or the public library, you child can develop their own unique taste in travel. Here are some books that can help your child develop their own travel adventure OR can prepare them for their own REAL travel adventure with their family. Here are the Top Travel Books for Children:

1) Curious George Takes a Train



This post contains affiliate links to help you build your shopping list and travel list for your family. We provide easy links for you to click to make your busy lifestyle easier! 

2) Maisy Goes on a Plane: A Maisy First Experiences Book



3) My First Plane Trip - Flying For Kids Airplane Book (Children's New Experience Series 1)



4) Train: A Journey Through the Pages Book



5) My Plane Trip (Dover Coloring Books)


6) Trains: Steaming! Pulling! Huffing!


7) National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas: Maps, Games, Activities, and More for Hours of Backseat Fun


Also, you can check out Amazon Kindle Unlimited! We read a book each week and I never have to leave the house! Just one flat fee!

Have a great week and plan for the weekend!

Sincerely,

The @WeekendsCount Family!


About Weekends Count - Weekends Count is a Millennial Family Travel, Fun, Food and Activities blog based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. We review hotels, travel and household items, and millennial family experiences!

Authors - Jennifer and Tony Edwards

Here's a link to our press kit/media kit - http://www.weekendscount.com/p/our-media-kit.html

Contact Information:
1030 East Highway 377 Suite 110
Box #145
Granbury TX 76048
817-382-8475
Send us an Email! We are PR friendly! - weekendscount@gmail.com

Our Social Media Channels:
Check Us Out on YouTube! - http://www.youtube.com/weekendscount/
Become a Fan of Facebook! - http://www.facebook.com/weekendscount/
Follow Us on Twitter! - http://www.twitter.com/weekendscount/
Look for Us on Instagram! - http://www.instagram.com/weekendscount/
Discover the Weekends Count Blog! - http://www.weekendscount.com

Remember to Purchase or Download Our Family Travel Book on Amazon! - Family Travel Hacks and Tips for Any Budget!

Discovering Ready-to-Go Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Meal Ideas in Dallas at the #GFAFExpo in Dallas!


When you find a free weekend away from work that will TEACH you something new, you have to SEIZE the opportunity! We seized the opportunity to learn about healthy food in a fun atmosphere, we decided to visit the Gluten Free and Allergen Free Expo at the Dallas Market Center in Dallas, Texas.

It was a neat experience to learn about the newest gluten free products while sampling and talking to the company representatives and owners. It was absolutely perfect.

Brazi Bites

Monster Meli's Cookies!

Kinnikinnick Foods

Partake Foods

Check out our last blog post!
https://www.weekendscount.com/2018/10/glutenfreetravel.html 

For our traveling family on our 24 Hour Family Travel Adventures, we try to seize opportunities to cook while we travel. So, we travel with a water kettle from Bodum that fits in my suitcase and we also plan to travel with a small lunch crockpot. This leaves our family with many oatmeal breakfasts, rice filled lunches, and soup filled dinners. Despite the predictability of our meals, we always plan ahead and pack the items that we need in advance (in gallon-sized plastic bags).

Have a great week and plan for the weekend!

Sincerely,

The @WeekendsCount Family!


About Weekends Count - Weekends Count is a Millennial Family Travel, Fun, Food and Activities blog based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. We review hotels, travel and household items, and millennial family experiences!

Authors - Jennifer and Tony Edwards

Here's a link to our press kit/media kit - http://www.weekendscount.com/p/our-media-kit.html

Contact Information:
1030 East Highway 377 Suite 110
Box #145
Granbury TX 76048
817-382-8475
Send us an Email! We are PR friendly! - weekendscount@gmail.com

Our Social Media Channels:
Check Us Out on YouTube! - http://www.youtube.com/weekendscount/
Become a Fan of Facebook! - http://www.facebook.com/weekendscount/
Follow Us on Twitter! - http://www.twitter.com/weekendscount/
Look for Us on Instagram! - http://www.instagram.com/weekendscount/
Discover the Weekends Count Blog! - http://www.weekendscount.com

Remember to Purchase or Download Our Family Travel Book on Amazon! - Family Travel Hacks and Tips for Any Budget!

Discovering Foods at the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo in Dallas


Recently, I discovered that I have a wheat allergy. Yes, our family attends the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo each year, BUT I have always focused on the Allergen Friendly foods. 

This year, it is definitely different for our family. Since June, I've been cooking with chickpea pasta, rice noodles, rice dishes for travel, and many Schar snacks! This has truly been one of the most different personal challenges that I have ever taken. It is SO DIFFICULT to find dishes that do not have wheat. 


I've attended the expo in the past, but now I am attending the expo with a fresh outlook! A fresh, gluten free outlook! YES! Also, engage with the companies listed below on social media if you have any questions.



Seriously, EVERYTHING has wheat! From cereal and cookies to soy sauce and some restaurant foods, it is very important to read the ingredients BEFORE you consume the product.

I've also discovered the importance of connecting with Gluten Free companies on social media (Facebook and Twitter). You can discover some great deals while learning more about the gluten free goodies they offer.




Speaking of which, check out these amazing gluten free and allergen friendly products! 

Aleia's Foods (@aleiasgf) - Almond Horns, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and my daughter's favorite... Coconut Macaroons!


BFree (@BFreeFoods) - Gluten free, wheat free & vegan breads and rolls!




Biena (@BienaSnacks) - I have these on REPEAT (Amazon Subscribe and Save Repeat - that is).




Blake's Seed Based (@blakeseedbased) - YASS! These are amazing too! I cannot wait to try these! TRAVEL SNACKS!!!




Blue Diamond (@BlueDiamond) - Gluten free crackers and snacks!!

Bob's Red Mill (@BobsRedMill) - Travel-friendly OATMEAL! My travel staple!!!


Brazi Bites (@BraziBites) - Our family, especially me (the gluten free one) LOVE(S) these! They are great travel food as well!




Deliciousness

DoTerra


Bone Broth Soups


Enjoy Life - Eat Freely (I love this company as well! Plentils have been in my little one's daily lunch snack packs for WEEKS. These and hummus dip? Have MERCY!)




Explore Cuisine (@explorecuisine) - Lentil Pasta, Spaghetti!

Forno Minas (@amofornodeminas) - (These have been GREAT travel food as well!)




Freedom (Instagram - @freedomfoodsus) - From Messy Monkeys Pizza and Cheese Snacks to the most DELICIOUS cereal ever! From Cocoa Crunch and Tropico's to Maple Crunch and Pro-Teen Crunch), check these out now!


Garlic Expressions


Gem City - Fine Foods (Gluten Free)


Go Veggie - (These are available at Kroger and MOST of the time on iBotta. My FAV!)




Good Karma

Handfulls


Hannah's Gluten Free Bakery


Hello Fresh (@HelloFresh) - (Our family subscribed to Hello Fresh YEARS ago and we loved it! It actually inspired us to cook more and to spend more time together). We cannot wait to try this Thanksgiving box)!





Honey Stinger (@HoneyStinger) - (I'll admit, United Airlines made me HOOKED on Wafel crackers!)


Ka-Pop Ancient Grains


Kay's Naturals - Cereal and Pretzels


Kinnikinnick - Gluten Free (Cookies, Bread, and Cake Mix) (@KinnikinnickYEG) - Those boxed crackers and sweet treats with BREAD? Ordering these now!


Liteful (@LifefulFoods) - From breakfast, sweets, breads, pies, cakes, and SAMPLERS? Girls and guys - We have to try this! By the way, they have CARROT CAKE!!!


Lundberg Family Farms (@lundbergfarms) - (We are such fans of their rice! We eat rice 5-6 days a week and we LOVE their products!)




Manni's Foods

Monster Meli's (Instagram - @melismonstercookies) - That mix though, plus they have a Wal-Mart partnership? Of course, I am trying these cookies!


Mikey's Muffins (@MikeysMuffins) - Paleo, Keto, and Gluten Free Breads, Crusts, and Baked Goods? Have mercy!!! 


Milton's Craft Bakers


Mozaics Chips (@MozaicsChips) - Ya'll, chips made with peas! Sign me up! Plus, this is a great travel "with protein" snack!


Natural Grocers (@NaturalGrocers) - (We love Natural Grocers! Especially the one in Tyler, Texas. We want to officially THANK THEM for choosing small towns in Texas). We need access to amazing food!




Nima Sensor (@NimaSensor) - Food sensors for on-the-go and travel dining???

YamaChan Ramen


Norwex (@Norwex) - (My late mother LOVE their products and she said that I HAD to use Norwex products with my daughter). From laundry detergent and wash cloths, this company has it all. Check it out! 




Pamela's Products - (I love their products! WAFFLE Mix...YAAAS!)



Partake Foods (@PartakeFoods) - (I love the fact that this company was created by a multicultural entrepreneur! I hope to emphasize this diversity-focused fact as I introduce this company to daughter)! We talk about WHY food were created and WHERE the food came from!



Path of Life (@PathofLifeBrand) - O, Frozen Gluten Free Food that even has KALE???? Oh, goodness yess! 

San-J Tamari (@SanJTamari) (Oh, you guys.. This soy sauce is AMAZING and I love it so much. I was happy to discover it a few months ago while dining a PF Changs in Seattle). Their gluten free menu was AMAZING! 


Sauce Goddess (@SauceGoddess)


Smart Flour Foods (@SmartFlourFoods)


Sprouts Farmers Market (@SproutsFM) - (That grilled peach recipe though...)




Sunbutter (@SunButter) - (I first learned about Sunbutter in Go Picnic packs. These are DELICIOUS with bananas!!!)



Swerve

Taste Republic (@taste_republic) - GRAIN FREE and GLUTEN FREE Pasta!!!


Terra Wash - Do Laundry with No Detergent


The Good Crisp Company (@thegoodcrisp) - CHIPS!!!!


The Salad Spice Company - (I cannot wait to try this company)




The Vitamin Shoppe - (@VitaminShoppe)

Veggicopia (@Veggicopia)


Peanut Free Wow Butter (@WOWButterUK) - (I just have one word to say.. PROTEIN!)





Xochitl (@XochitlChips) - (Chips and Salsa - Oh my!!!!)




Yum Butter - (We love these too and I cannot WAIT to finally make a REAL "peanut butter" and jelly!)



Zego - Delicious Allergy Friendly Snacks



The Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo (October 27-28) in Dallas is a MUST attend event for families who have children with food allergies OR who are gluten free.

Do you want to know some additional information about the GFAF Expo. Discover more here: http://www.weekendscount.com/2014/11/the-top-gluten-and-allergen-free-travel.html


Have a great week and plan for the weekend!


Sincerely,


The @WeekendsCount Family!



About Weekends Count - Weekends Count is a Millennial Family Travel, Fun, Food and Activities blog based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. We review hotels, travel and household items, and millennial family experiences!

Authors - Jennifer and Tony Edwards


Here's a link to our press kit/media kit - http://www.weekendscount.com/p/our-media-kit.html


Contact Information:

1030 East Highway 377 Suite 110
Box #145
Granbury TX 76048
817-382-8475
Send us an Email! We are PR friendly! - weekendscount@gmail.com

Our Social Media Channels:

Check Us Out on YouTube! - http://www.youtube.com/weekendscount/
Become a Fan of Facebook! - http://www.facebook.com/weekendscount/
Follow Us on Twitter! - http://www.twitter.com/weekendscount/
Look for Us on Instagram! - http://www.instagram.com/weekendscount/
Discover the Weekends Count Blog! - http://www.weekendscount.com

Remember to Purchase or Download Our Family Travel Book on Amazon! - Family Travel Hacks and Tips for Any Budget!


FREE Perks for Kids at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Austin & Remember to Purchase Lounge Access


The Omni Austin Hotel Downtown is an exceptional location for your family! Think STAYCATION or 24 hour trip (Saturday/Sunday) for your family! Seriously, you CAN fly in from another state and and fly out within a 24 hour time frame and you can have a GREAT time in downtown Austin! Great food, great activities, and amazing perks for kids. Speaking of kids...

Kid-Friendly Perks - Like a Backpack!
Speaking of value added, let me tell you about the Omni Kids Crew!

When you check in to the hotel with your child(ren), the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown gives a backpack to children! In this backpack, your child will find AMAZING items focused on them and their interests! Here's more information - https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/austin-downtown/property-details/omni-kids

Here's what in the backpack:
Activity book with stickers
Crayons
2-in-1 card games
Binoculars
Small tabletop game

Other Kid-Friendly Perks (for FREE)
Child guests also receive milk and cookies delivered to their guest room on the first night. Also, during the dining times in the restaurant, you do not have to panic, because your child(ren) will receive a special Omni Kids Crew coloring menu is also available in our restaurants, with crayons and an Omni Kids Crew cup!

Think about Purchasing LOUNGE Access for Your Family!
Also, our daughter is always hungry. When we fly, she's hungry. When we are in a car, she's hungry. When we are in a hotel, as soon as we enter the room, she is hungry.

This always presents a problem for us because we usually do not have snacks for her all of the time. So, we typically purchase access to the hotel lounge. Lounge access ranges between $20-$30 a day.

Recently, we had the pleasure of spending time at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown. I purchased access to the Private Omni Club Guestroom. This guestroom was on a special floor of the hotel and included the following:

- An amazing guestroom

- Turndown service

- Access to a complimentary continental breakfast
*Available Monday to Friday from 6:30am to 9:00am and on Saturday/Sunday from 7:00am to 10:00am. Breakfast is served in the 14th floor Club Lounge.

- Access to a hors d' oeurvres and beverages
*Available Monday to Friday from 5:00pm to 7:00pm and on Saturday/Sunday from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Breakfast is served in the 14th floor Club Lounge.

Overall, this hotel was exceptional and it was located in a great location within walking distance of the Convention Center, the Texas State Capitol, and 6th Street (great restaurants and amazing music). It also has an amazing heated swimming pool!

Have a great week and plan for the weekend!

Sincerely,

The @WeekendsCount Family!


About Weekends Count - Weekends Count is a Millennial Family Travel, Fun, Food and Activities blog based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. We review hotels, travel and household items, and millennial family experiences!

Authors - Jennifer and Tony Edwards

Here's a link to our press kit/media kit - http://www.weekendscount.com/p/our-media-kit.html

Contact Information:
1030 East Highway 377 Suite 110
Box #145
Granbury TX 76048
817-382-8475
Send us an Email! We are PR friendly! - weekendscount@gmail.com

Our Social Media Channels:
Check Us Out on YouTube! - http://www.youtube.com/weekendscount/
Become a Fan of Facebook! - http://www.facebook.com/weekendscount/
Follow Us on Twitter! - http://www.twitter.com/weekendscount/
Look for Us on Instagram! - http://www.instagram.com/weekendscount/
Discover the Weekends Count Blog! - http://www.weekendscount.com

Remember to Purchase or Download Our Family Travel Book on Amazon! - Family Travel Hacks and Tips for Any Budget!