#SomethingNew April: Magnolia Market in Waco

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I’ve been attempting to write this post for weeks nows, but friends, April has been chaotic. I will hopefully get to explain more about my crazy schedule and what the LORD has been teaching me this month in another post, but for now let’s just focus on my #SomethingNew!

This month (a couple weeks ago), I went to Chip and Joanna Gaines’ store in Waco, TX with a group of girlfriends for a day trip that turned into a little weekend getaway. Since Waco is only about an hour and a half outside of Dallas, it makes for an easy day trip. We left Dallas early Saturday morning in hopes that we wouldn’t be waiting in line forever, and we certainly lucked out because there was NO WAIT when we got there. It was definitely good timing considering most of the reviews I read said people were waiting close to an hour. We were off to a great start!

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Once we got inside Magnolia Market, I was in interior design heaven. The place was filled with so many beautiful home goods that I nearly wanted everything in the store. It took a lot to stop myself from going overboard and sticking to my pre-determined budget.

There were so many gorgeous items in the store. They had the best fake flowers and plants I had ever seen. They felt and looked so real that it took you a second to realize they weren’t. Then they had a slew of décor, kitchen items, serving items, pillows and throws. I would call the décor a mix between Pottery Barn and Anthropologie with surprisingly reasonable prices (because you know how those places can get). I could have stayed in there for hours looking at everything and getting ideas for future rooms.

In the end, I purchased the Magnolia wreath which I had been eyeing for some time, a handful of fake tulips and a mini chalkboard. There were so many other things I wanted, but I felt like these items were the most versatile if I end up moving again in the next year or two. I will definitely want to make another trip when I get a house!

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Outside of the store, there is a grassy area for kids (and dads) to play while the ladies shop. There are food trucks and picnic tables too, so you could really make a whole day of it! Currently, Chip and Joanna are working on opening an on-site bakery and plant shop (I think this is now open, but it wasn’t when we were there). There are lots of things to do and see at the market.

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After we left Magnolia, we ate lunch at Olive Branch (a local sandwich place) and walked around Spice Village. The best way I can describe Spice Village is a huge space filled with little Etsy shops, kind of like the Dallas Flea if you’ve been to that. It was a really cool place, and I also found a little something there.

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After a day’s worth of shopping, we drove to my friend’s ranch, about an hour away from Waco. To summarize our night there, we got a truck stuck in the mud (and attempted to get it out for an hour), rode four wheelers, drank too much wine, laughed until we cried and ate lots of food and birthday cake. It was super fun and one of those weekends I will never forget!

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Needless to say, it was definitely a great trip to the Silos, and I will definitely be going back!

2016 #SomethingNews:
January: Skiiing
February: Flower Crown Class
March: Houston Rodeo

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#SomethingNew March: Houston Rodeo

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I have lived in Texas seven and a half years and have never been to a rodeo. Not for lack of trying either — I’ve attempted to go to the Fort Worth rodeo at least two times over the years and tickets were sold out both times (most recently this past February).

I remember telling P months ago that one of the road trips I wanted to take this year was to the Houston Rodeo. I wanted to experience it one time because I had heard so many things about it. It’s one of the steps to becoming a true Texan, right? Because of P’s amazing planning skills and thoughtful nature, he made it happen this past weekend!

It’s funny on the way to the rodeo, I didn’t really know what to expect when I got there. I knew there was some sort of concert involved as well as bull riding, but that’s about it. And to be honest, I didn’t really understand what bull riding was – I didn’t think people actually RODE a bull. I had been on the grounds of the Fort Worth Stockshow and Rodeo, but because tickets were sold out by the time we were going to buy them, I never got to experience the rodeo aspect of the events.

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The first thing you notice when you get to the rodeo is how big it really is (everything’s bigger in Texas, right?). There are people everywhere and lots of things to see and do outside of the stadium itself (this is where the rodeo is). I’ve heard there is a market somewhere with vendors and a stock show in another area, but because it was a quick trip for us, we didn’t spend any time outside of the stadium. We wanted to see as much of the actual rodeo as we could, so we went inside the stadium almost right away.

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We got there early enough to grab a drink (or two) before heading to our seats and watching all the events in action. Because I know some of you have never been to a rodeo, here is a brief description of each of the events we saw (laymen’s version, so I might be over-simplifying for all you rodeo pros):

Tie-Down RopingMan on horse lassos steer and flips it over to tie three of its legs together. Fastest time wins.

Bareback RidingHorse has flank strap and proceeds to buck to get the man on him off. Man must stay on for 8 seconds and is judged based on how well he rides through the bucking. There is no saddle (a.k.a. bareback).

Team RopingTeam on horses — one member lassos steer’s neck and the other lassos steers hind legs so that steer falls over. Fastest time wins.

Saddle Bronc Riding: This is essentially the same as the Bareback Riding above except the man has a saddle on the horse.

Steer WrestlingMan on horse rides out as steer is released and jumps on steer to flip it over and onto the ground (like wrestling). Fastest time wins.

Barrel RacingWoman on horse circles barrels without tipping them over. Fastest time wins.

Bull Riding: This is the same as the Bareback riding above, expect it is a bull instead of a horse. And this was my favorite event to watch because it was so intense!

Mutton Bustin’: Little kids ride on sheep like a barrel. The one that stays on the longest wins. This was HILARIOUS to watch!

I truly had no idea some of these events actually happened. I mean wrestling a steer? Getting bucked off of a horse or bull? Lassoing a steer’s neck and feet in seconds? I’m not sure what I thought a rodeo was, but I was shocked that these were actual events! It was super entertaining and amazing to watch these peoples’ courage and skills in each event.

After each event winner was named, Brad Paisley came on stage and performed. He was super funny and really got the crowd going! I really enjoyed his concert.

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Overall, I would say the rodeo was way more fun than I could have imagined. The events and concert were very entertaining and the atmosphere was what I love most about Texas — friendly, fun and down-to-earth. How many events have you been to where they pray before kicking things off, where winners thank God first before anything else? It was a great first experience, and it definitely won’t be my last rodeo!

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#SomethingNew February: Flower Crown Workshop

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Don’t think I forgot my #SomethingNew for February! Unfortunately, things have been a little crazy around here, and this is the first chance I’ve had at writing this post. But I’ve been really excited to share it with you because this is one of my favorite #SomethingNew’s to date!

Several months ago, I bookmarked a flower crown workshop that I found through one of the people I follow on Instagram and was saving it for the right opportunity. Well, when my community group asked me to plan a retreat in Fort Worth, this workshop was one of the first things that popped into my head to do.

The workshop was a private class for 8 people, called the “Champagne and Crowns” class, put on by R Love Floral. Compared to a lot of other floral design classes I had been looking at the price was VERY affordable, not to mention champagne was included with the class (HOLLA!).

When we arrived at the studio for our workshop, all of our stations were set up with the materials we needed along with champagne and wine chilling in an ice bucket! We quickly introduced ourselves and got started.

Raquel recommended that we use a thick twine as the base of our crown instead of wire. We measured the twine around our heads to get the correct crown size. Then, we wrapped floral tape around half of the crown, covering where the twine overlapped. Next, we selected the flowers we wanted to use as well as the filler flowers and greenery.

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The rest is basically repeating the same steps over and over. You make tiny bunches using a big flower and a filler flower (or only filler flowers) and wrap them around the crown with floral tape. The cool part about this process was that you could be as creative as you wanted and use all sorts of flowers with no rhyme or reason, or if you’re super Type A like me, you can make some sort of pattern so it’s a little more structured. 2016-02-20 14.49.29 2016-02-20 15.03.10

Once you’ve repeated those steps and have flowers around your crown, you need to figure out a way to finish it off. This is where Raquel swooped in with her creative juices and helped make the end of my crown look better than just having an inch of floral tape.

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Making a flower crown was surprisingly easier than I expected it to be. I think I expected it to be harder because most of my other #SomethingNew classes have been really hard and frustrating for me (like here, here and here). But I think with this class I could implement some sort of structure to making the crown while at the same time being creative with what flowers I was using in each bundle and how I placed the bundles around the crown.

I found working with flowers to be really relaxing too. I took a floral design class in high school and remembered thinking the same thing, so it was good to see that my love for floral design hadn’t changed over the years. I will definitely be looking into more floral arrangement classes and make another flower crown or two for a festive occasion (who’s with me?).

Overall, the workshop was AMAZING! Raquel was a dream to work with and offered us step-by-step instructions while still allowing us to be creative with our crowns! I would highly recommend Raquel’s R Love Floral workshops! She also does floral arrangements and flower crowns for special events and weddings. Definitely consider using her! She was such a pleasure to work with.

This workshop was truly the highlight of our weekend and such a useful skill to learn! I mean, the possibilities are endless with where and when you can wear a flower crown. I know this will not be my last time making and wearing one!

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#SomethingNew January: Skiing

IMG_5434Over New Years I went skiing for the first time. Growing up in Chicago, our family never went on “cold weather” vacations — we had all the cold weather we could take during Chicago’s six-month long winter. And because I don’t like the cold weather, I never thought twice about skiing. That is until I started dating someone who LOVES skiing. So for his birthday which also happens to be New Year’s Eve, we went skiing with a big group of friends.

I would love to sit here and say that I couldn’t wait to try it out — that I was beyond excited to go barreling down a mountain at full-speed, but you can obviously tell that was not the case. Not only was I terrified about getting hurt having heard countless horror stories of people tearing their ACLs, but as I checked the weather closer and closer to the trip, the temperature seemed to drop lower and lower in Colorado.

So I did as much prep work as I could before getting there — grabbing everything warm in my closet and making a few much-needed trips to REI to get socks and anything wool that they had. I was prepared. I had all the gear, so I looked the part. Now I just needed to bring my A-game, so that I wouldn’t get hurt.

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After all that anticipation, the day was finally here. We picked up my rental skis, boots and poles and headed to the mountain for my ski lesson. We practiced our “pizzas” and wide S’s down the bunny slope. Then, we practiced getting on and off the lift and eventually graduating to bigger bunny slopes. We practiced and practiced, until finally it was time to just go for it. Go for the green!

My first time going down the green slope was probably the best run I had that day because I had no idea what to expect. I remember asking my ski instructor, how much of a difference there was between the bunny slope and the green, and he kind of looked at me and laughed. I don’t think I ever got that answer, but that was for the best because once I knew what to expect, I kept psyching myself out.

The other couple runs I did that day were less successful than the first, but successful nonetheless. I fell only a few times (maybe three or four) throughout the day, but needed to work on SLOWING DOWN and not panicking and flailing when other people were around (which you can imagine was often).

Going into this trip, I knew I was going to have a hard time skiing with P. I never want him (or pretty much anyone else for that matter) to see any of my weaknesses. So I wanted to be perfect at skiing right away (much like a lot of my other #SomethingNew attempts). I didn’t want him to give me feedback. I didn’t want him to see me fail (my version of failure at least). I wanted to be the next Lindsey Vonn after day one.

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But putting that kind of pressure on myself automatically set me up for failure. When P did try to help me, I got defensive and completely shut down. I wanted to figure it out by myself. I didn’t want his help and I didn’t want him to see me struggle.

Thankfully, I have a gracious boyfriend, who looks past my stubbornness. So after pleading with him to let me figure it out myself, he left me alone and I went down several more times before ending the day with a much-needed glass of wine.

Three cheers for the bars at the bottom of the slopes!!!

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Day two was a million times better!! Not only was I able to sleep on everything that I had learned, but I had a different mindset going into the day. I didn’t have to be perfect, and P didn’t expect me to be perfect. By taking that pressure off myself and reminding myself that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” as I am (a beginning skier), I was ready to take on the day!

P and I skied together the whole second day. It was magical, romantic, fun and terrifying all at the same time. I loved getting to experience it all with him. He was so patient with me, so encouraging and so gracious. I’m beyond grateful for him.

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And my skiing got better and better throughout the day, but more importantly my insecurities of not being “good enough” became less and less powerful. Even when I fell or flailed or did something dumb, I was able to laugh at myself and not take it all so seriously. I don’t have to worry about being “good enough” for someone. My security is in the LORD alone.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-16)

The LORD is continuing to break down my pridefulness by putting me in situations where I will not excel the first time, where I can’t be perfect because I’m not perfect. He continues to refine me in my relationship with P as I continue to find insecurities that I didn’t even know existed, like not being good enough for someone. Wondering how can pride and insecurity exist at the same time? That will be a post for another day. But basically, the #SomethingNews are back this year because I still have so much headway to make in extending myself grace and letting go of perfection.

So will I ski again? Yes. Especially because P enjoys it so much. And honestly it was pretty enjoyable. I can see why he likes it so much. Would I choose a cold weather vacation over a beach vacation? Probably not, but that’s okay. At least when we go again I will know what to expect and I will never have to deal with the dreaded “first day of skiing” again. He tells me it’s like riding a bike when you go again. I hope he’s right.

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My 2016 New Year’s Resolutions

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Happy New Year y’all!

This year’s resolutions are all about getting back to the basics. This will be the last time I say this (I promise!), but last year was hard. There were a number of reasons and factors that contributed to that, but excuses aside I did not do a good job of getting in the Word and in prayer as consistently and fervently as I had in years past. This year, I am determined to get back to the basics in order to grow in grace and truth.

In particular, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the spiritual disciplines book I read last year. There were so many nuggets of truth that I gleaned from it that I wanted to think through how to put it all into practice. But in order to not overwhelm myself with twelve resolutions as I have done in the past, I decided to focus on the four “Inward Disciplines” (as Richard Foster calls them in the book). They are meditation, prayer, study and fasting.

Foster says, “God has given us the Disciplines of the spiritual life as a means of receiving his grace. The Disciplines allow us to place ourselves before God so that he can transform us” (7).

I love this. God wants to transform us to be more like himself and one way he can do this is by us focusing on our spiritual disciplines. It’s like disciplining yourself for a marathon. Sure, you don’t have to do it. But your stamina, running abilities and body will suffer if you don’t train and discipline yourself for the actual race. This is the same with our walk with God. We need to discipline and train ourselves so that we will be able to run fervently no matter what is thrown our way.

So with all that said, here are my resolutions for each of the four inward disciplines this year:

Meditation

Thomas á Kempis called meditation “a familiar friendship with Jesus.” Unlike Eastern meditation that attempts to empty the mind, Christian meditation is an attempt to fill the mind, “to create and inner wholeness necessary to give ourselves to God freely” (21). There are not necessarily particular steps to “practice” meditation, rather it is a way of life.

In order for me to be successful in keeping my resolution though, I need to take an actionable step in order to incorporate meditation into my daily quiet time. Each day, I am going to find a verse that I feel like the LORD wants me to focus on. I might need to marinate on this verse for weeks or maybe only a couple days — I’m not going to set a specific time limit. It should a verse that the LORD has been using to tug at my heart.

I saw evidence of this happening with Joel 2:13 at various points throughout 2015. Because the LORD kept placing that verse in my life, it allowed me to think about it a lot and soak in its truth. I’m hoping that mediating before prayer will help me to get more out of my quiet time because I have prepared my heart for communicating with God and have spent time thinking about his Word.

Thomas Watson says, “The reason we come away so cold from reading the word is, because we do not warm ourselves at the fires of meditation.” Oh, how I can relate to that.

Prayer

I’ve thought of so many ways I could improve upon my prayer life this year, especially after reading so many books on prayer the past couple of years.

First and foremost though, I want to get back to the basics of being prayerful everyday. This means carving out the time necessary in the mornings to pray for an extended period of time. Jesus prayed for extended periods of time all throughout the New Testament (Luke 6:12), so how much more should I be spending ample amounts of time in prayer before beginning my day?

I still find journaling my prayers to be effective because it helps me to focus on what I’m saying and not babble. But I need to spend more time journaling and make sure I am well-rested enough in the mornings to have a fruitful quiet time (a.k.a. not falling asleep). I will keep the journaling in place.

Also, I want my life to be more prayerful and not just something I do every morning. Tim Keller in his book on prayer found that praying in the morning and evening with maybe a brief midday prayer was most helpful for him. I’m going to try to incorporate at least an evening and morning prayer in my own life.

Overall, I want to make sure I am praying no matter what. We have been given such an amazing gift to be able to communicate with the Creator of the heavens and earth, and a lot of times I take that gift for granted. I hope that by the end of the year, I can see growth in my prayer life and therefore growth in my love and affection for God because of the time I was able to spend with him each day.

Study

I’ve always thought of myself as “good” at this spiritual discipline, but unfortunately I think I’ve been selling myself short of what God intended “study” to look like. Instead of fully meditating on Scriptures that I’m reading, I have a tendency to get through as many studies and as much material as possible. Very seldom do I allow myself to marinate on a verse or go through any application steps/questions regarding a particular passage.

John Piper’s Desiring God team has recently put out a series of wonderful articles on this subject (here and here) that really convicted my heart for why this discipline is so important to apply rightly. If we don’t, we become Christians who are just checking a box and getting through our quiet times.

Imagine how frustrating it would be if whenever you talked to a loved one on the phone and shared your thoughts and feelings with them, but they didn’t respond? Were they even listening? Did they hear what you said? Think about this next time you are reading God’s Word. We are to move from reading to meditation to prayer. We need to have the proper response to God’s Word and treat it for how valuable it is. This is something I greatly need to work on this year.

I also want to make sure I am being as consistent as possible in my quiet times. Last year I made a lot more “exceptions” for myself than in years past for why I was “okay” to skip my quiet time for the day. Though there may be times an exception has to be made in the future, it should be an infrequent occurrence.

Fasting

I knew very little about fasting before reading this book let alone putting it into practice. To be clear, fasting is not for vanity or a desire for power. It is not to be used to get God to do what we want. Instead fasting must be centered on God and must be God-ordained and God-initiated.

So my fasting resolution for this year is to try it once, since I’ve never tried it before. I’m not going to force it to happen, but to prayerfully consider what prayer request or decision I need to make this year that would benefit from spending time in fasting and prayer. I’m not even sure what fasting would look like for me yet — whether it’s food, social media, TV, etc. I’ll wait and see how the LORD uses it this year.

I recently purchased a journal that I hope will be helpful in organizing my thoughts for my quiet times. I love this woman’s Instagram feed and had purchased the memory verse card booklet a couple months ago (and love it!). I’m hoping the structure of her journal will help me to meditate, study (take notes) and pray through the Scripture I read this year. I’ll let you know how I like it!

Other resolutions:

  • Read 40 books this year. Setting 52 as the goal last year was a little too ambitious considering I only ended up reading 35. But I have been able to increase my book count by five for the past few years, so I should be on track to meet this goal.
  • Keep my #SomethingNew resolution from last year. I had so much fun doing this last year that I want to keep it going this year. Here’s to trying many more new things and stretching myself to get out of my comfort zone even more.
  • Practice thankfulness. My “word of the year” is thankful, something that I am not good at expressing in the midst of my busyness and selfishness (or focus on my self and my own issues/concerns). So I created a Thankful Jar for the year to write out and keep track of one person, moment or thing I am thankful for each day. The LORD has blessed me with so much to be thankful for. I’m hoping that this small act will give me an attitude of thankfulness throughout the day and all year.

Resolutions: The Results

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Well here we are, at the end of another year — I can’t believe it! This year I made five New Year’s resolutions, which I think was a little ambitious (something I’ll talk about with my 2016 resolutions coming in January), but nonetheless helpful and life-changing.

Here’s a little bit about how I did:

Resolution #1: Take a modern-day Sabbath.

I knew the hardest time of the year for this one was going to be in the fall, and I was definitely spot on. Overall, I definitely think I made strides to have more restful Sundays, considering Sundays were a time for every errand under the sun, laundry and cleaning my apartment prior to my resolution. When I made this resolution though I wanted to be more mindful of how I was spending my Sundays, so that I would not be rushing around trying to get everything done before the work week started. And although, I wouldn’t say I completely rested and did nothing on Sundays (I did a much better job in the beginning of the year), I did make more of an effort to get my major errands and cleaning done on a different day in order to make my Sunday a little more relaxing. I think making this resolution will help me to make a conscious effort to rest more (on Sundays especially) in future years. I have even noticed just in completing my daily to-do list that I have trusted that the LORD would help me to complete everything in His timing each day. It is good to see my anxiety-prone heart have a little less anxiety every day at least partially because of this resolution.

Resolution #2: Rest in God’s sovereignty and abide with him daily.

Speaking of rest, this resolution was really hard for me this year. There were a number of hard moments that I had throughout the year that made me cry out to God in frustration and not want to rest in his sovereignty. There were many times where the last thing I wanted to do each day was spend time with him in his Word and prayer. But I think remembering His sovereignty and fighting through my feelings allowed me to get through those tough moments. There was a lot of transition and change that happened in 2015, so not looking too far ahead and focusing on the day ahead was vital for my own sanity. Not to mention as I said above, my anxiety about the future was a lot less this year than previous years (PRAISE GOD!). So hopefully I will continue to get better and better at trusting in His timing and not jumping too far ahead of myself. Part of the resolution really comes into play with my resolution for next year (post coming at you in early January!).

Resolution #3: Using words and having a tone of voice that is beneficial to others. 

This was the one thing I really wanted to improve upon in 2015. I had seen my tone and words hurt so many people close to me that I wanted to make every effort to control what I was saying and how I was saying it. And overall, I would chalk this one up as a success. Though there were many moments where I really failed (I can even think of one or two last week), there were so many other moments where I was able to stop hurtful words and my harsh tone before both came out of my mouth. This year, there were so many more fruitful and beneficial conversations that occurred because I was able to better control my tone with people and remain calm in high-stress situations. I still have plenty more to work on in this category, but I like where things are headed and will continue to keep this on my radar.

Resolution #4: Drink more water. 

FAIL. I tried and tried and tried some more. I drank more LaCroix and set goals for myself each day at work, but for some reason I was not especially motivated to drink water even though it was a resolution. I will continue to work on this because it is vital for my health, but I’m glad that this failure of a resolution is over.

Resolution #5: Try something new every month. 

This was by far my most successful resolution (not to mention my most fun)! So much so in fact that I think I’m going to continue it into 2016 because there are still so many activities and things I want to try. Making this resolution pushed me every month to get out of my comfort zone and try things I hadn’t done or wasn’t good at. It gave me the opportunity to make the most of the fun things Dallas has to offer. I even heard from so many of you who would wonder what I was going to do next! Anyone looking for a fun resolution, I would highly recommend this one!

Here were all my #SomethingNews from this year:
January: Ballet Class
February: Knife-Skills Class
March: Juicing
April: Biking White Rock Lake
May: Watercolor and Brush-Lettering Class
June: Trip to Fredericksburg  
July: Barre, Spin and Yoga
August: Perot Museum’s Social Science
September: LAUNCH Retreat
October: State Fair of Texas
November: Pie, Custard and Macaroons
December: Six Flags

I’m working through and gathering my thoughts for my 2016 resolutions. Stay tuned for a post in early January!

#SomethingNew December: Six Flags

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I have lived in the DFW area for seven and a half years and have never been to Six Flags Over Texas. WHAT ON EARTH HAVE I BEEN DOING!?

NOTE: There is a Six Flags in Chicago (Six Flags Great America) that I have been to a couple of times as a kid, but it had been a while (probably ten years or so).

Because I had been wanting to go for years, I tried to make this particular #SomethingNew happen in October (Fright Fest), but there were monsoon-like rains the weekend we were planning to go. It was a big bummer because I was really looking forward to all the rollercoasters and getting freaked out by the scary people and decorations. But It all worked out in the end because we able to use the tickets for Holiday in the Park instead, and it was absolutely MAGICAL!

What made Holiday in the Park so cool was how festive the park becomes with all the Christmas lights, Christmas music and Christmas décor everywhere. As with all things Christmas, the park had a more magical (and dare I say romantic) feel when we were walking around. There are also fun “holiday” activities, like sledding, pictures with Santa, live Christmas music and drinking hot chocolate, in addition to the INTENSE rollercoasters and rides that the park is known for all year round.

One HUGE benefit of going to Six Flags in December is that it is a lot less crowded than during the summer. This may seem obvious, but I was really surprised by how uncrowded the park was. The longest wait time we had was about 45 minutes (and 20 minutes of that was because there were technical difficulties with the ride). For most of the rides and rollercoasters we only waited about 10-15 minutes.

As for the rides themselves, they did not disappoint! The rollercoasters were what I was looking forward to the most on the way there, and I was pleasantly surprised by how intense they were.

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We started out on the Texas Giant — meaning we started off with a bang! It was fun, but that first drop is a killer! We next went on Shockwave, which was my favorite ride! The drops weren’t as big and you went upside down twice — definitely my kind of rollercoaster! Then, we rode some of the smaller rollercoasters and rides to get our bearings back, although my biggest takeaway was how old I felt on some of the rides that were bumpy and jerky. I now understand why my parents don’t always like going on rollercoasters because they don’t feel very good on your body. #AmIRight?

We ended the night on the Titan, which was the longest line we waited in the entire night. I think the waiting made my anxiety a lot worse because I was anticipating the 255-foot drop with each step as we inched closer and closer to the front of the line. When we finally made it on the ride, I was terrified of the giant drop. At some point, I was actually crying — although I’m still not sure if it was the cold air blowing in my face or just being so scared. We survived though, and I actually really enjoyed the ride after that initial drop. I was a little dizzy after getting off, but quickly recovered as we made our final lap around the park. We definitely started and ended the day with a bang!

Overall, we had a wonderful time at Holiday in the Park! The rides were awesome. The atmosphere was great. And the company was even better. I’ll definitely be back next year!

Here are all my #SomethingNews from this year:
January: Ballet Class
February: Knife-Skills Class
March: Juicing
April: Biking White Rock Lake
May: Watercolor and Brush-Lettering Class
June: Trip to Fredericksburg  
July: Barre, Spin and Yoga
August: Perot Museum’s Social Science
September: LAUNCH Retreat
October: State Fair of Texas
November: Pie, Custard and Macaroons

#SomethingNew November: Pie, Custard and Macaroons

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Let’s face it, November is the month of unhealthy eating. Between tailgate food, all of the delicious pumpkin things out, not to mention Thanksgiving (the most caloric meal of the year), I think November takes the cake as being the month of decadent eating. So what did I have in mind for my #SomethingNew this month? Trying three dessert places, of course! I mean there is no better month to appease my sweet tooth than November.

Something you should know about me is that I don’t only have a sweet tooth, I have sweet teeth. I seriously LOVE all things sweet — cookies, cake, candy, ice cream, brownies — you name it, I love it. So I was super excited to get to try some new dessert places!

My go-to dessert places have always been Eatzi’s (for their carrot cake — it’s AMAZING), Sprinkles (for any of their cupcakes — I truly love them all) and any frozen yogurt place in the area. But for this #SomethingNew I decided to try three out-of-the-box desserts options: pie, frozen custard and macaroons.

I have had my eye on each one for a while now, but hadn’t gotten around to actually going to any of them. It takes a little push for me to try new things (as we have learned), so this was exactly the push I needed to get out there and go!

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JOY Macaroons

I had heard about JOY Macaroons’ ice cream sandwich macaroons back in July when I went to the Bastille Day celebration in Bishop Arts. But by the time I got to their cart, they were all sold out of the sanwiches. The thought of a macaroon ice cream sandwich intrigued me, so I put it in the back of my mind to try later.

Fast forward a few months, and here we are! JOY Macaroons is right outside of Bishop Arts (only a few streets down). The interior of the shop is very “hipster” and cool, and they have a lot of interesting macaroon flavors, like bourbon pumpkin and cranberry orange. But I was there to try the sandwich.

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The ice cream sandwich flavors were also very different: there was a fig one and a sesame one as well as a few others that were out-of-the-box. I ended up with the milk chocolate orange and my friend Kim got the vanilla.

I really enjoyed the texture of the sandwich — it was a lot lighter than a normal ice cream sandwich and the macaroon itself was delicious. My only qualm was that you couldn’t pick your macaroon or ice cream flavors separately, and they had some pretty obscure flavors. You had to be adventurous.

Overall though, I think they make a great macaroon, and I would definitely eat the ice cream sandwich again if I was in the area. I just don’t know if I would drive all the way out there for it.

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Wild About Harry’s 

I lived right down the street from Wild About Harry’s for two years and never made it in there. I had heard so many great things about their frozen custard, especially from a lot of local Dallasites, so I finally made a point to try it this month.

Walking in, I was immediately reminded of a place back home we used to go when we were kids, called Cock Robin. It would kind of be like a dairy queen, but with a little more of a hometown feel. Wild About Harry’s had this same vibe. I could see it being one of those places where you go after a high school football game or after riding bikes on the Katy Trail with your family.

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I got a toffee crunch ice cream cone, and it was really good. The custard was definitely a lot creamier than frozen yogurt or “normal” ice cream. My only complaint would be the lack of toffee pieces in the scoop, but overall it was really good. If I was ever in the mood for a good ice cream cone again, I definitely know the place to go.

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Emporium Pies

‘I truly saved the best for last. While all of the dessert places were great in their own merit, Emporium Pies hands-down won the battle of the best dessert.

I tried their Cloud 9 pie, and it was unbelievable. I didn’t really know what I was getting into when I ordered it, but I thought ‘I like butterscotch and caramel so we will give it a try.’ And WOW. This seasonal pie is their most popular during the fall, and I can completely understand why.

IMG_5108I typically go for fruit pies, so it was definitely different than I was used to pie-wise. But different in the best way. The crust was flakey and delicious, and the filling was gooey and rich. You couldn’t stop eating it, even though it was very sweet and filling. It tasted just like caramel and butterscotch. Truly to die for!

My boyfriend, Peyton got The Nannerz (Emporium Pie’s version of a banana cream pie), and that was really good too. I’m usually not a huge fan of banana desserts, but I ended up liking that pie as well, just not as much as my slice of heaven.

I will definitely be going back to Emporium Pies. The atmosphere was adorable — you felt like you were at grandma’s house, and the pies spoke for themselves. No wonder there was a line out the door and around the corner. I can’t wait to try one of their fruit pies in the spring!

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Do you have a favorite dessert place in Dallas? I would love to try it! Comment below.