Blueberries Are Ready For Picking!

THE BLASE FAMILY FARM

1220 East Fork Drive Rockwall TX 75087

We have been waiting all year for the Blase Family​ Farm to open, if you’re wondering what we’ve been waiting on it’s the blueberries! They are finally ripe and ready for picking!

The Blase Farm located just 25 min from Dallas, tucked away in the middle of Rockwall is the cutest little bluberry grove that allows kids to come and pick their own blueberries.

Blueberry season runs from May – July, they are then closed until fall in which they have a fantastic pumpkin patch (stay tuned for that post later this year), they are open from 9am-1pm, so you’ll want to plan accordingly.

We went mid May and it was a beautiful 70°, the park is very shady and cool but the actually area where the berries grow is open to the sun so keep that in mind when planning your visit.
What to know before you go:

How it works- Upon entering the farm you will stop by the stand grab a basket or bucket, head on back about 100 yards to start picking. You fill your container with as many berries as you please, as you return to the front you will pay for the blueberries you’ve picked. The average cost was about $5 per person.

Appropriate age- Dexter is almost two and he was just a bit on the young side for this, it is doable and was a fun activity but he definitely didn’t get the concept. I think this is perfect for kids ages 3-6, however there were several moms with young toddlers so if you are up for it than I say “give it a shot!”

What to bring- if you are taking a younger child I would bring your own container possibly a Ziploc bag or something with a lid. I saw many kids including Dexter throw the blueberries everywhere. We actually ended up leaving with none as we lost the entire collection on our way back to the front of the farm. Oh well, lesson learned, and​ now I am passing that on to you, you’re welcome!

What to wear- durable, sturdy shoes! I saw many kids and would recommend wearing rubber boots, both you and your child, and possibly even bring an extra pair of shoes and plastic bag for your boots for the ride home. It is a highly wooded area, and depending on the weather that week could possibly be a tad muddy. Bringing me to my next section…

Stroller or no stroller?
I saw moms with both. Depending on the age and number of children you have you might want to have your stroller. Just keep in mind the terrain conditions in which I mention above. If​ you have a jogger or something very rugged you will be golden.

Lunch-
This is a true farm, they do not sell food so everyone brought their lunches and sat at the shady picnic tables to eat. They do however sell popsicles, they are really yummy, all natural and very low in sugar. You will want to make sure and snag one!

If you are looking for a fun playdate idea or something different to do with the whole family on a weekend, this is a great activity for everyone! Get more information HERE

See you out there,
Noelle and Dexter

PicsArt_05-26-08.58.26PicsArt_05-26-09.00.22PicsArt_05-26-09.01.48PicsArt_05-26-09.03.40PicsArt_05-26-09.05.42PicsArt_05-26-09.07.42PicsArt_05-26-09.08.39

 

Advertisements

Summer Bucket List 2018

Maker:L,Date:2017-8-26,Ver:5,Lens:Kan03,Act:Kan02,E-Y

Summer is a here and we need stuff to do!!!!  Here is a list of links to my favorite Uptown Mom posts to plan for a fun summer in Dallas!

Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park

OUT OF THE BOX FAMILY ACTIVITY

Looking for a unique family outing? You might want to do some time traveling and check out this place! 

If you grew up in Dallas you probably remember going to Old City Park on a school field trip, if you never got to go there it is a complex made up of Dallas’ actual oldest historic buildings all placed in an 1800’s town set up. They have changed the name to Dallas Heritage Village and added some houses to the park. I would call this one of the City’s hidden treasures.

This was such a neat experience going back in time to the 1800’s- 1900’s as we got to go through the town into a general store, bank, saloon, dentist office and church. Everything in each building was an actual piece of furniture or appliance from that time period. A neat feature was the school house, it had everything an old school would have had, and everything was interactive including a live teacher in costume to answer any history questions you might have. 

The perimeter of the park was lined with the historic homes starting clockwise from oldest to newest. The oldest home was equipped with a blacksmith stable with a real live black smith creating iron artwork. Each home was beautifully preserved, fully furnished and accessorized with antique eye candy in every nook and cranny.

Being a Dallas native and loyalist I was in love with the view of Dallas’ very first buildings complimented with the backdrop of the current iconic city skyline directly behind, what a beauty! The front of the park contained the stables and henhouse, we saw horses, donkeys, and the biggest chickens I have ever seen.

We got the pleasure of witnessing an old time gun fight (just a reenactment, no actual bullets were fired), this is a mini skit that local actors put on every Saturday and noon and 1pm.  

There are exclusive toddler activities as well! Every Wednesday in June from 11:00-11:30 there will be a Barnyard Buddies story time session, this is where little ones get to hear a story, do an activity and explore the village.

Whether you are new to Dallas or have lived here your whole life I highly suggest you try something different and take the family down to explore the city’s roots, there is something for everyone!

See you out there,

Noelle and Dexter

IMG-20170415-WA0012IMG-20170415-WA0004IMG-20170415-WA0010IMG_20170415_110333728IMG_20170415_110850361IMG_20170415_105226276IMG_20170415_114023453IMG-20170415-WA0009IMG_20170415_114819476gun fightgun fight2

The Amateur Mouseketeer

DISNEYLAND WITH A 1 YEAR OLD

My husband, my son and I live in Dallas and were invited to attend San Diego wedding this April. We have a 22mo old and decided to take this opportunity and do a little side excursion over to Disneyland. Disneyland is MUCH smaller and easy to manage than Disney World making it a “stepping stone” for the motherland to which we plan on going in a few years… I would not attempt taking a 1 year old there.

Since we have a small child who is right on the delightful cusp of the terrible twos we decided in advance that one day would plenty. This was our first time, so I am an inexpert Disney-goer but I wanted to share my experience for anyone who might be planning a trip with a toddler.

I recommend doing as much research as possible, read blogs, troll Instagram, download the Disney apps and maps and go in prepared with a plan! That being said… prepare to have your plan annihilated! There is a comfort in having an idea of what to expect but part of that expectation is knowing that things will change and you will have to roll with the punches.

It can be easy with a toddler to lose your cool and get frustrated with them or your spouse (we’ve all been there), but If you can go in with a flexible mentality, pack some extra patience in your fanny pack, and you and your spouse have a good pep talk beforehand, you will have a great time a make the best memories!

WHERE TO STAY

Disneyland has its own resorts which give you direct access to the parks and also grant you a magic hour which allows you to enter the park one hour before it opens to the public. This is a desirable lodging option as the Disney resort offers character breakfasts and heated pools with splash parks that by far exceed the surrounding hotels.

The onsite resorts are nice but it will cost you, the Disney resort was 4 times the price of the Hilton where we stayed located 2 blocks from the park. The offsite hotel was a nice option for us, although we didn’t get the full magical experience, Dexter is so young and doesn’t know the difference we felt the savings was worth it.

TRANSPORTATION

All the hotels offer shuttles to the park, but honestly it was easier just to walk. You are already going to be walking the whole day a couple more blocks is nothing. Also, by the time you unload everything from your stroller to fold it, and have to hold all that stuff plus your toddler while waiting for everyone else to do the same on a stuffy bus… no thanks.  The walk nice and easy breezy.

WHAT TO WEAR

Tennis shoes.

Wear clothes that are very comfortable, you will likely be carrying and lifting your toddler throughout the attraction lines and it’s pretty much a work out so active wear is the way to go. Wear a fanny pack, you may laugh now but it will quickly become your best friend. Which leads me to my next segment… Strollers!

THE STROLLER SITCH

Everyone brings their stroller which simultaneously serves as a cart for all the stuff you’ll pack for the day. The stroller is great for walking around the park but something to know ahead of time is that you are not allowed to bring your stroller through the lines for ANY of the attractions, you have to leave them in the designated “Stroller Parking” area and then go wait in line.

Sounds a little sketchy to just leave your stroller with all your stuff in it right? Right, but everyone does it. There are 50-100 strollers in one little parking area and everyone just goes on the honor system which is why I suggest renting a stroller (which you can reference our experience with stroller rental HERE), which also brings me back to the fanny pack! I let the hubs sport that little accessory!

But you will definitely want to keep all your important things in the ever so trusty fanny pack; phone, keys, wallet, etc. which you can wear on all the rides.

TODDLER RIDES and ATTRACTIONS

 Disneyland is divided into two parks; Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. For us, this trip was really for our son Dexter so we decided to keep it all toddler friendly and skip the “big kid” rides, and since we were only there for one day we went with Disneyland Park. I tried to best plan our day by using the Disneyland App and getting on their website to find all the rides that allowed for “any height” to participate.

Something to keep in mind is that the lines move pretty fast, some of the lines looked really long and intimidating but the actual wait time was only about 20 min, and if you use the app it shows the wait times for each ride right on your phone. Some of the rides have a Fast Pass option but it did not apply to any of the toddler rides.

To avoid the crowds we went immediately upon entering the park Mickey’s toon town in the very back as opposed to the going straight for the castle which is where most people start. Toon town is the most toddler friendly part of the park and littles ones can do all of the activities.

As a parent my personal favorite thing were the playhouses, they are essentially Disney themed playgrounds where your toddler can be out of the stroller, run, and stretch their legs all while you can sit and take a breather. They can visit Mickey & Minnie and all of their other favorites, there is a food court, and the crowds seemed to be down in this area

FOOD

Disney is really great about letting you bring in your own food. There was a huge CVS about 1 block from the entrance, we stopped in there on our way and grabbed waters, power bars and little snacky things.

You likely want more than just packaged food and Disney offers many quality, healthier options. The restaurants are all great but if you are looking for a quick snack there are several fruit stands, we got hummus and carrots and Dexter ate a turkey dog and loved it!

NAPS

The big question with toddlers, “What do we do about a nap?” Its right in the middle of the day, you don’t want it to kill the momentum, what worked very well for us was napping in the stroller. By this point in the day your toddler will be beyond exhausted from all the excitement and activity they will likely fall right to sleep.

The key is to have a stroller that reclines back to lying position, we used the B.o.b.  This not only worked for us but we saw several toddlers doing this. My suggestion is to  feed your little one lunch, let them drift off then find a nicer “sit down” spot for you and your spouse to grab a good lunch or a show while tiny is napping.

DIAPERS and THE BABY CENTER

Don’t you just love changing diapers in public park restrooms…said no one ever! Well you don’t have to here! A little hidden gem and game changer is the Disneyland Baby Care Center. We stumbled upon this just as we needed to change a stinky diaper and it was nothing short of awesome. This center is a cozy and soothing place mothers can feed baby, breast feed, nap little ones who need a crib and best of all change diapers in a sanitary easy to manage space. They also sell, diapers, formula, baby food and other necessary baby items.

NIGHT PARADE

Disneyland is magical at night time too! They put on an electric parade that is full of music and dancing all made out of lights. I noticed many parents with young children would start to head back to their hotel around 5:30 to do dinner and bath then return to the park with their kids in pjs ready to watch the night parade and once again fall asleep in their stroller.

This may sound like no fun pushing around a sleeping kid while you still have to supervise, but the park is beautiful at night when lit up and there is a lot to look at, this is a good opportunity for you and your husband to enjoy the park together and have some adult conversation and maybe a late dinner.

 

This was the first trip to Disneyland for all of us so I am absolutely an amateur, however if you are considering taking your toddler I hope you got something out of this recap and a bit more incite from our experience. We hope to go to Disney World in the future with older children but for now this was a good place to start and a fun experience full of memories I will adore forever!

PicsArt_05-10-09.09.19PicsArt_05-10-09.15.05PicsArt_05-10-09.19.20PicsArt_05-10-09.00.29PicsArt_05-10-09.11.57PicsArt_05-10-09.22.59PicsArt_05-10-09.13.53PicsArt_05-10-09.41.28PicsArt_05-10-09.24.16PicsArt_05-10-09.17.23PicsArt_05-10-09.06.08

The Traveling Toddler

OUR TRIP TO CALIFORNIA

I have traveled in the past with a small baby which is one thing, but last week we embarked upon our first travel experience with a 1 ½ year old. This is a whole different ball game which brings new challenges and tests your patience in ways only Mother Theresa or Gandhi could handle, but we made it through and you will too.

There are many travel methods people use to accommodate their child and that particular trip so do what works for you, but here are few little nuggets from our trip that you may want to use.
One of my biggest travel mantras is “Less is more”, some people believe they have to bring their whole house with them which is such a pain to lug around an airport. I don’t like to travel with my stroller or car seat for a few reasons;

1) they are nice, expensive things that I don’t want getting broken or dirty as they get thrown under an airplane.

2) It’s more luggage to keep up with and drag around.
“But I need my stroller and car seat.” Yes, you do! Did you know you can rent these things at your destination! We have always requested a car seat with our car rental at the airport and have had no problems doing this, usually it’s a small fee of $8-$15 per day.
This was the first time we rented a stroller and going forward we will do this EVERY time!

We used the Traveling Baby Company and it was awesome! The agent met us at the airport to deliver our clean stroller and gave us a demo on how to use it. We rented a jogger which was perfect to stroll around California and take to Disneyland. They offered many different kinds of strollers and a variety of baby necessities from car seats, pack’n plays, highchairs, toys and everything in between. This company operates all over the country in all the tourist rich cities.


Something that we do if staying in a hotel is request a pack’n play from the front desk. I have done this 3 times at different hotels and each time the hotel had the pack’n play set up and waiting for us in our room with clean crib sheets at no extra cost.
We also don’t pack diapers and wipes, we just bring enough for the flight in our carry-on bag and we buy everything when we get to our destination.

 

packnplay

That’s the Pack n Play in the back… obviously

A new item I have always laughed at but now understand and decided to try was a child harness. We bought a backpack harness on Amazon by Brica for $9 which was enough to spend just to keep it on hand, even if you never use it, it’s better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it. We pulled it out a few times and were absolutely thankful to have purchased it!


Something I would have done differently is to bring a small, cheap umbrella stroller that weighs close to nothing just for the airport. This would have been nice to have at times when Dexter got tired of walking or standing.
As far as the flight goes, this can play out in many scenarios depending on the endless possibilities of situations. This particular flight was fully packed and lasted three hours. Dex slept both ways as long as we kindly asked the passengers around us if they wouldn’t mind closing their window shades, they of course were happy to do so if this meant the baby would stay asleep.

flight
Aside from that, all you can do is make sure your tablets are charged and loaded with movies, games, soothing music (which turned out to be the most crucial element for us), pack snacks, some new dollar store toys, and have a positive attitude.
Traveling with a small child might seem overwhelming but the memories you make on family vacations are precious and worth every small hassle of getting there. They are only little once and you never get that time back so I encourage you to take every opportunity you can, big or small to invest in experiences, spend quality time and make memories!

Happy Traveling, see you out there!
Noelle and Dexter

 

Aquariums and Gardens Made Perfect for Toddlers

FAIR PARK OF DALLAS – Children’s Aquarium & Texas Discovery Gardens

3601 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Dallas, TX 75210

 The Arboretum of Dallas and The Dallas World Aquarium are both city staples and wonderful places to visit and learn, however you will probably spend a good chunk of your day and your wallet when you go.

As day time moms we are usually looking for something that fits within an hour and a half – two hour window, is inexpensive and covers a smaller surface area to easily manage kids who like to run. When looking to get your botanical fill and aquatic activities in there are two places that happen to be side by side that fit this criteria.

Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park-

We have visited this garden several times recently, it is a smaller, quicker alternative to the Arboretum. This butterfly garden is a newer addition to Fair Park and hidden gem amongst the busy city buzz.

Inside, the two-story Butterfly House and Insectarium you are transported to a tropical rainforest, complete with hundreds of free-flying butterflies. Something to note: you actually feel like you are in a rainforest… a bit warm and muggy, so dress accordingly.

Each day at noon there is a butterfly release and new butterflies are set to fly free around the space. This is an indoor/outdoor garden making for a great activity when weather may be unpredictable.

The indoor butterfly house is beautiful, relaxing and very toddler friendly, your little ones can roam and explore without going too far from sight. If the weather is nice bring snacks and enjoy the outdoor gardens as well, then you are on your way for a nice long nap!

The Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park-

We made an impromptu visit to the Children’s Aquarium last week and were pleasantly surprised. It is a historical building so it is a bit older but it was a perfect morning activity for toddlers.

As soon as you walk in you are greeted with a beautiful water display with live sea animals they allow you to touch (supervised of course). We then ventured over to the coastal fish and sea life displays and were thoroughly impressed and captivated!

There were creepy but amazing eels, a huge shark, beautiful sea turtles, and more. Our favorite part of the aquarium was the Stingray Bay. This new expansion is really fun and interactive. As you walk out on the deck you stand above open toped tanks containing very large sting rays, sharks and fish.

As you walk down to the lower level there is another open tank with several playful sting rays… yes, I said playful. This was so fun! The stingrays cannot sting or bite you, but they see and hear you, they come up to the glass and splash and flap their wings, then you can pet them. The aquarium has food you can feed the stingrays, we had a blast together petting and feeding those little guys!

We love both of these places, depending on your child you could easily visit the butterflies and the fish in the same trip or split it up like we do, either way it’s a great day!

IMG_20170328_202821_763.jpgIMG_20170224_103910189IMG_20170212_115022515IMG_20170324_100954416_HDRIMG_20170324_101929862IMG_20170324_102250391IMG_20170324_102956708IMG_20170328_121858IMG_20170328_122418

Saving lives one little swimmer at a time

 

WATER SAFETY at EMLER SWIM SCHOOL

Drowning is the #1 cause of death for children under the age of 5, nearly 700 children die every year. 69% of fatal drowning swimming pool incidents occur under one or two responsible parent supervision. 3 out 4 of those children had been seen no more than 5 minutes prior to being found in the pool. Drowning happens quickly and quietly. The best way we can protect our children is to teach them water safety skills.

Of all the things we have to be scared of as a parents why not ease your anxiety by having one less thing to worry about. The importance of having your child in Swim School can make the difference in a life or death situation. Choosing the right swim school for your child is crucial to their swimming development and water safety. The award winning Emler Swim School  has developed a learn-to-swim program focused on love and safety. Children at Emler are never immersed aggressively or traumatically, they are taught with love and patience.

Their parent-involved class also gives you the confidence and guidance to apply the techniques on your own. Some of the water safety skills Dex (19months) is currently perfecting are breath control, we are now up to 8 second submersion. We are learning to turn around and grab the wall, walk our hands to the edge and climb out. We are always working on kicking our legs, rolling over to our backs and floating face up. These are all important survival skills that can save your child’s life if God forbid something were to ever happen.

Summer is just a few months away, now is the time to get your kids enrolled and ready for pool season. Aside from having the peace of mind knowing that your  child is aquatically prepared you can be on your way to even more relaxation. The sooner your child can fully swim on their own the sooner you can just lay by the pool and work on that tan!

REMEMBER:

  • Use code: UPTOWN MOM to get your FREE high quality, reusable swim pants
  • Babies 2mo – 5mo are FREE in the Bathtime Babies class (see previous post HERE)
  • Enroll your child HERE
  • Learn more about water safety tips HERE

 

23451

Sit Back and Play

THE PLAYDATE CO.

Per the usual I am constantly scouting out new fun places and activities for the kiddos. Although we love allowing our kids to exercise their abilities to run and explore that usually requires us as parents to be on our toes as well.

But what if there was a place where your little ones could roam free, let their imaginations run wild while you could sit back and relax and watch them play?! I have just the place, The Playdate Co. This sweet little spot is exactly what the name says… a company for playdates! The Richardson based center is perfectly located and easy to get to for anyone in the Dallas area.

This bright and beautiful center is furnished with several adorable playhouses each embracing a different theme to accommodate any child’s fancy. Each house is fully decked out with every imaginable prop or toy incorporating it’s motif.

They had everything; an ice-cream shop, schoolhouse, book nook, general store, tool shed and garage, home center, creative coloring, and gardening… but the big hit amongst all the tots was the merry-go-round style bikes in the middle.

There is even an area for the littlest ones who are not yet crawling so for those with a toddler and a newborn this is a perfect place for you!

Upon entering the gated play space you can store all your things in the provided cubbies, and when all that play time has worked up an appetite you are welcome to bring your own snacks and drinks too, just be sure to keep them in the designated snacking area.

Ok, so what about the moms?  There is seating and complimentary coffee for us mamas to sit, take a breather, enjoy a cup of “pick me up” juice and some adult conversation.

There is free WiFi as well so you can get caught up on your articles and emails. Relax at ease as everything is visible and open for keeping eyes on our little movers at all times.

The pricing structure for play packages are as follows:

  • $10.50 per child, age 1 and up.
  • $8.50 for siblings, age 1 and up.
  • $5.50 for children under age 1 not accompanied by an older sibling.
  • Free for siblings under age 1 with a full price child’s admission.

For any additional info check them out HERE .

See more pics below from our day

578910111416

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jump Up, Jump Up and Get Down!

DFW TRAMPOLINE PARKS

Oh January, the Christmas merriment is over, it’s still cold out, and you need to get out of the house.

Try taking the kids to a trampoline park, they’re not just for birthday parties. If you’ve never been to one it’s exactly what it sounds like, a a huge space full of trampolines and mats! Most have special hours and pricing just for toddlers. It’s the perfect indoor activity that’s easy, inexpensive and will guarantee nice long nap!

The two main players in the DFW area are Urban Air and Jump Street . We have been to both below are some FYI’s of each.

URBAN AIR:

  • 6 locations all around the DFW area
  • OUR FAV FEATURE: Large facilities (some locations have additional rigs such as  padded jungle gyms, zip lines and foam pits)
  • Toddler hours are Wednesdays and Fridays from 10-12
  • Cost is $5
  • Must fill out waver upon entry. Waver is valid for 1 year. You can fill it out online before you go to avoid waiting.
  • Bring socks
  • Snacks for purchase but mostly candy

 

JUMP STREET

  • 4 locations (one being centrally located on 75 and Walnut Hill)
  • Less trampoline space than Urban Air. Toddlers are limited to the toddler area, but it has a bounce house and foam pit for kids 4+.
  • OUR FAV FEATURE: Toddler hours are ALL DAY, EVERYDAY
  • Cost is $5
  • Must fill out waver upon entry. Waver is valid for 1 year. You can fill it out online HERE  before you go to avoid waiting.
  • Bring socks

Happy jumping and we’ll see you out there,

Noelle and Dexter!

img_20170104_110350371img_20170104_110342872img_20170104_105909859img_20170108_185918img_20170108_185904img_20170108_185853img_20170108_185815img_20170108_185803img_20170108_185751img_20170108_185738