Monday, December 11, 2017

Our trip to ENCHANT Christmas Light Maze!

If you live in the north Dallas area like I do, you are fully aware of the MASSIVE amounts of fun activities to do with your kids around the holidays.

Literally as soon as October hits, our Facebook pages are bombarded with event invites that people are clicking on, advertisements about events in our area, commercials on TV, etc etc!  It's overwhelming.  I think I probably clicked "interested" on at least 20 different local events in the area to take our kids.  With a family of 5, we obviously couldn't attend every single one... we'd have no money left for Christmas gifts.  And in the words of Sweet Baby Brown, "Ain't Nobody got time for that".

I did some research & narrowed it down to one place we HAD to check out this year.  We chose Enchant Christmas, the world's largest Christmas light maze!  It's located in Arlington so it wasn't a far drive for us, & I thought the whole idea seemed so original & like nothing we had ever seen.

I was right!  We were so excited from the moment we saw the lights shining from a distance as we drove to the parking lot.  It's FREE parking too by the way!

We went on a freezing cold day last week, so we bundled up in our warmest outfits & the boys got their first hot chocolates they've ever had. ;)

As you enter inside there are giant lit up reindeer, giant Christmas trees, & dazzling lights everywhere you look.  It's gorgeous.

We went on a Thursday evening.  It wasn't over crowded at all & the only line was to get in, & it went really quick. :)

These pics truly don't do this place justice.

We stopped right away for our drinks & then we had to take a photo in lit up sled of course!

We immediately went to the Christmas maze.  As you walk in you can choose doors one, two, or three.

You are given scratch off cards at the front of the maze, & your goal is to find all of the reindeer, scratching them off as you find them.  This was Cole & Brody's favorite part!  (Tip:  Make sure you tell your kiddos not to run off in the maze without you).

The maze had so many different parts.  Giant icicles that stick up out of the ground, dangling lights you walk through, light up tunnels, etc.  SO much fun!

I felt like a little kid again running around with my boys in this beautiful winter wonderland.

After the maze, the boys spotted the one & only Santa Clause, who was seated inside a giant lit up ornament.  Jace was upset at first but then he held it together when he saw that Cole & Brody were nearby.  The line went surprisingly fast.  C & B both asked if they are on the naughty or nice list.  Santa replied "The nice list if you keep up the good work."  Good answer Santa.

After meeting Santa, we made our way over to the ICE SKATING rink. Brody is four & he was old enough to skate too.  The boys have never done it before, so it was a bit challenging at first, I'll admit. Cole was holding on to the wall & I was trying to skate while holding onto Brody.  It was pretty hilarious... I couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard.  Their little wobbly legs were too cute.

After one, reallllly long lap around the rink with the boys, I gave them back to the hubby & got to skate by myself for a bit.  It was the highlight of my week.  I forgot how fun ice skating is.  I was pleased that some of my balance from years of dance & pilates came back to me too... I didn't fall once! Hahaha!

(Nerd alert).

There is also food, & a Christmas market to walk through... but by the time we were done skating, the kids were beat & ready for bed.  We had SUCH blast.  Enchant did NOT disappoint.  It was just as magical as we had hoped it would be.  I really hope they do this again next year!

The tickets are super affordable too.  It's around $30 for adults, $20 for kids, & ages 4 & under are free!  If you have any questions about anything I forgot to mention, feel free to send me an email!

I hope you enjoyed reading, & if you're within driving distance to Arlington, TX I highly recommend checking this out before Christmas is over!  If you're not in the Christmas spirit yet, this magical lit up happy land will probably change that for you. ;)

Also, don't forget to follow me on Instagram if you haven't already to stay updated with more frequent posts. :)  SincerelyStevieBlog

Monday, December 4, 2017

Jace's Winter Onederland First Birthday

Last weekend we celebrated baby Jace's first birthday.  SO bittersweet of course!  This is officially the "last first" birthday that I will ever have the pleasure of blogging about.  Many more birthday parties to come in the future, but there is something so special about the FIRST birthday.

When I found out I was having a December baby, I knew immediately that I wanted to do a Winter Onederland theme birthday.  It's grown a lot more popular over the last couple years so I wanted to take this in a different direction than the typical Winter Onederland decor.

Instead of using any blues, I wanted to keep it metallic & neutral, with rustic elements.

I couldn't handle hosting another birthday party at our house, because every time we do, I gain like 5 more grey hairs & 25 more wrinkles.

SO, I decided to check out different birthday party locations in the north Dallas area, & found the PERFECT spot right by us in Fairview, TX. Polka Dot Party + Play is THE most adorable play place I've ever seen.  The owner Stacy has such an eye for design.  The building has a ton of windows so there's plenty of light that fills the happy space. It's modern, clean, & fresh with 3 miniature pastel buildings designed to look like a little town.  The kids can get lost in their imaginations playing make believe with the pretend boutique & play food, dressing up like fire fighters, doctors, etc.  There is also a play structure with a slide, & a big chalkboard where the kids can draw.  Stacy was so easy to work with, from the beginning of my crazy party planning questions up until the very end of clean up.  She had a designated party hostess there to help, & they saved the day helping me pull together a couple last minute details with the decor.

For birthday parties as you can see above, she has a perfect table for decor/dessert with a white wall behind it that was a blank canvas allowing me to create the theme I wanted so perfectly.  The kids ate their cake at 3 miniature white picnic tables pushed together.

Speaking of the cake... I am in LOVE with how Jace's snowflake cake turned out by Wonderfull's.  A local hard working mama owns this business & she is CLEARLY talented at what she does.  Not only did she create a cake that was exactly what I imagined for our theme but it tasted like heaven in or mouths.

Jace's little crown was also something I dreamed of having for his first birthday, from the moment I found out I was pregnant. ;)  My little prince would have nothing less!  I was honored to have Little Blue Olive, one of the most adorable party hat shops I've ever seen make Jace his crown!  They are located in Camas, WA where I have family & friends (since I was born & raised in Portland, OR).  Shout out to my Oregon & Washington peeps!  Definitely order your custom party hats from this company when you have your next child's birthday!

The sweet "ONE" cake topper with the crown & the personalized "Jace's Onederland" banner were made for us by the most precious Etsy shop Glitter Party Co. who I found through Instagram.  I wanted to add crowns in to the theme so this cake topper was spot on & tied a crown in perfectly to the decor.  I also love that they were able to make us a party banner that I wouldn't be able to find anywhere else.

The metallic ONE balloons were sent to me from GirlyGifts07 a trendy party decor shop on Etsy who I also found through Instagram.  They can personalize whatever you want in metallic balloons!  Love!

I also had some perfect Winter Onederland signs made for the party by Linda at Sprinkled Designs.  Also found on Instagram, I was drawn to her sweet little shop after seeing all of her creative designs.  She personalized each one for us using the color scheme I was going for. I'm so happy with how they turned out!

Last, but not least, the boy's matching shirts/romper are by Tea Collection also sold at Nordstrom.  I am in love with all of the outfits on their site for boys.  Their outfits are SO soft! Cole is starting to get annoyed with me that I keep dressing him like his little brothers, but I don't care!  God blessed me with 3 kids the same gender, so you better believe I'm going to dress them alike for a million photos to embarrass them with in the future for as long as I can get away with it. ;)

Additional decor details:

I made Jace's monthly photo picture banner using cardboard pennant cut outs from Hobby Lobby.  I printed each photo & cut/glued them on, & pinned to twine with clothes pins. :)

My husband built the chalk board for the party with a grey stained frame.  I knew I wanted it rectangular to be a back drop for the cake table.  All of the winter decor was from many different stores.

I can't get over the expression on his face as we all sang Happy Birthday to him.  He was completely confused, like, "why are all of these people staring at me right now? Singing this song?" ;)

The kiddos had SUCH a blast.  If you have your party at Polka Dot + Play, you get a free play pass for your kids to come back in the future.  We will definitely be going back over Christmas break, my kids haven't stopped asking since we left. ;)

This amazing super daddy made most of the fabulous appetizers himself because he's awesome like that.

On the menu we had:

Charcuterie & cheese plate
Mini pigs in a blanket
Mini sandwiches 
Veggies & dip
Bacon wrapped pears
Fruit tarts
Glazed meat balls

For the take-home bags I made a muddy buddy mix (since the colors of it matched the theme perfectly) mixed with white sprinkles & white chocolate chips.  I put them in cellophane bags with snowflakes on them, & tags that said "Thank you snow much for coming." ;)

Our obligatory Jackson Five photo:

Thank you so much for reading!  I am so happy with how everything turned out, & most importantly: Jace had the time of his life.  We worked hard to make this party unforgettable, we just love him so much we couldn't help ourselves. ;)

Be sure to follow me on Instagram if you haven't yet, I post there more frequently:  Sincerely Stevie Blog.