A Fair-y Tale Day!

Last Thursday, on Madeley’s third birthday, we decided to celebrate by going to the State Fair of Texas!

As you already know, going to the fair has always been a big tradition for our family, so now, it’s extra fun because we can go on Madeley’s birthday and really have a reason to celebrate.  And bonus, Catherine’s mom Cynthia also has a birthday on the 19th and this year, her and her partner Price were in town, so we had double the reasons to celebrate at the fair.

Here was our big birthday girl that morning before she headed to school…

She was so excited to finally be THREE!

We enjoy going to the fair in the late afternoon and then staying past dinner.  So, after school, we picked everyone up and headed straight there to meet my parents, Sean, Catherine, Samuel, Cynthia and Price.

My mom had brought this crown for Madeley to wear (since it was her birthday), but she wasn’t feeling it, so Ashby wore it the whole day.  And slept in it that night.

We arrived at the fair ready to have fun with our birthday girl!

When you’re so happy that it’s your birthday!

Clearly, the sun was bright…but we needed a photograph in front of Big Tex.

We have converted Catherine into a fair person over the years.  She’s as obsessed with it as the rest of us now 🙂 .

Of course, we visited the car shows…

…Ashby picked out her car 🙂 .

These two test drove several.

Andrew’s face at Smith driving has me laughing!

We attempted a selfie.

The big kids went through the obstacle course…

…while we sat with one of the birthday girls.

You cannot go to the State Fair of Texas without eating a Fletcher’s Corny Dog.

Enjoying the fair with my big and my little.

The State Fair of Texas is one of my happy places.

Smith has been asking for a tortoise for about a year now.  Who has a tortoise?  Someone please comment and tell me about owning a tortoise, please!

We always enjoy the petting zoo!

Look at all of the grandparents over there helping the littles feed the animals.

We took a selfie with the mama pig.

Baby goats are so cute.  I’m not a huge fan of adult goats, but those babies are so darn cute!


Samuel loved the petting zoo too!

Price and Smith enjoyed feeding the bigger animals together.

After we washed our hands (ha!), we gave Samuel his first bite of cotton candy.  He didn’t really know what to think about it.

My crazy crew.

We always play lots and lots and lots of games before we leave.

Ashby picked her duck and then earned her prize 🙂 .


Smith had fun breaking plates…

…and then, Andrew won a giant bear.  As you can see, they were having zero fun 😉 .

We let Madeley “carry” the bear.

Games, games and more games!

Princess Ashby won a baton!

The six of us where the brave ones who rode the Haunted House ride!

And then we finished off the night with the grandparents taking the five little ones on the carousel.

Heading back to the car.  We fair-ed HARD!

This was such a fun way to celebrate Madeley and Cynthia’s birthdays!  If you’re ever in the Dallas area the end of September through the end of October, you MUST visit the State Fair of Texas.  It’s such a fun way to spend the day!!

To see my previous Fair posts click below…

Annnnnd…want to know who the winner is from yesterday’s Birthday Giveaway???  It is…


Congratulations Severene!!  You won a $600 Nordstrom Gift Card!  I emailed you this morning, so make sure you email me back ASAP to claim your prize!

Didn’t win?  No worries!  I’m giving away another one TOMORROW!  Eeeeks!  The giveaway fun continues all week! xo

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  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog October 24, 2017 at 4:44 am

    Such a fun day for all the family. My favourite part is the animal petting – super cute!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Reply Amanda October 24, 2017 at 5:01 am

    That looks like such fun! Next time I go to Texas, I’m definitely going to make sure I can get to the state fair!

  • Reply Erika Slaughter October 24, 2017 at 5:14 am

    You Shull’s must know some fair game secrets! We’re gonna need you to share those before our next fair visit! And Andrew’s face in that Jeep had me laughing too!

  • Reply Sarah October 24, 2017 at 5:28 am

    I haven’t been to a fair in years!! Perhaps a decade!! This looks like a blast!! I’ll have to see if there’s one here in NC!!
    -Sarah http://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

    • Reply Cindy Davis October 24, 2017 at 9:47 am

      Sarah, we just had the 150th State Fair in Raleigh NC. It runs each year in Oct. This year it was Oct 12 thru Oct. 22. Cindy from NC.

  • Reply Paula October 24, 2017 at 5:32 am

    Looks like a perfect place to celebrate a birthday. Madeley will think the fair goes up just for her! 😍

  • Reply Elspeth Mizner October 24, 2017 at 5:33 am

    What a fun night! I always look forward to your fair posts! So nice you are getting more people to
    Join in on the fun! Happy birthday week!!

  • Reply Jen October 24, 2017 at 5:40 am

    Can you share where you got your top?? Is it current? Thanks!! Happy Birthday Eve! 😊😊

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama October 24, 2017 at 5:51 am

      Yes! I just posted it on FB last week! It’s from Loft!

  • Reply Shelia Maxwell October 24, 2017 at 5:41 am

    Oh,what fun!!!
    Looks like y’all had a fabulous, fun, family night…those littles are so precious!!!
    Enjoy watching your precious family adventures ❤

  • Reply Kate T October 24, 2017 at 5:42 am

    What a wonderful time ;). I had two turtles growing up and it was pretty neat. However, they live a long long time which meant my mother held on to them, oh and she also had to clean their dirty tank more often than she desired! Ha!

  • Reply Bethany October 24, 2017 at 5:45 am

    awe….such a great family day and perfect celebration! Happy Birthday Madeley!

  • Reply Erryn Harvey October 24, 2017 at 5:47 am

    The state fair is one of my all time favorite places! I had a question for you…do you and Sean get stopped all the time for pictures?? Haha. Love your blog!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama October 24, 2017 at 5:51 am

      Sean and Catherine do 🙂

      • Reply Erin October 24, 2017 at 1:06 pm

        For the record, if I ever see you in person I will TOTALLY ask you for a picture!!!!!

  • Reply Carly October 24, 2017 at 5:49 am

    What a fun birthday, love that the extended family was there. Big families are the best! Happy Birthday Madeley! You bring such joy to the blog world. Have a great day Shay!

  • Reply Jennifer Jackson October 24, 2017 at 6:24 am

    So, I have a connection to someone who has a reptile hospice in College Station. They often have baby African Sulcata Tortoises and they make the best pets! She’s coming to speak to my classes in a few weeks and could likely bring one down if you really want!

  • Reply sydnee October 24, 2017 at 6:32 am

    What a fun time! I can’t believe y’all won that big bear….they always have it rigged that it’s near impossible to win those big prizes!

    Design by Sydnee | A Lifestyle Blog 💗

  • Reply Narci October 24, 2017 at 6:36 am

    What a fun time at the Fair!! Loved seeing all of those sweet pictures! That first picture is so sweet of Madeley!

  • Reply Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams October 24, 2017 at 6:45 am

    It looks like such a fun way to spend a day with the whole family! Samuel’s face with the cotton candy is so funny. Happy Birthday to Madeley 🙂
    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Reply Megan October 24, 2017 at 6:51 am

    State fairs are so much fun! We missed the Kentucky State Fair this year because we were in China and my kids are still talking about how bummed they are. We owe them an extra corn dog and ride next year. Ha!


  • Reply Erin Port October 24, 2017 at 6:55 am

    What a fun day at the fair you had and a great way to celebrate a birthday 🙂 xoxo ERIN

  • Reply Melissa@ Finding My Mojo October 24, 2017 at 6:57 am

    Yikes, sorry about the typos! You did Fair hard! I’ll be looking forward to the post about Smith’s new tortoise!

  • Reply Laura @ Laura Likes Design October 24, 2017 at 7:05 am

    This looks like such a fun day at the fair — I feel like we need to step up our fair game after seeing your post! We always skip the games area!


  • Reply Robyn Bingham October 24, 2017 at 7:20 am

    We have 2 Sulcata tortoises. We have had them since they were about a year. They lived inside in a large tank for almost 2 years. Then we moved them outside. They roam the yard, come to us when we call them, and love to eat. Tortoises are super easy to take care of. They just need space because they are going to be huge and my grandkids will likely be taking care of them down the road.

  • Reply Sheaffer Sims October 24, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Kensington cracked me up in that last picture!!!! Looks like a great day!

  • Reply Myka October 24, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Happy birthday Madeley! The fair is always great, I hadn’t been in 2 years.

  • Reply Amanda Klein October 24, 2017 at 7:39 am

    After 10 years with my Texan, we FINALLY made it to the state fair this year! (We’ve always lived somewhere else -California/Arizona/Alabama – so we just never were in Dallas while it was going on.) Husby totally grew up going to the fair every year just like you, so it was so special to take our little guy! He somehow got us ALL on the Teaxas Star 😳 🎡 but my favorite was the animal barn where people were legit showing llamas!! The llamas were walking on beams and steps and going through hoolla hoops, it was amazing 😂

  • Reply Ainee Harmon October 24, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Love seeing all these pics of your sweet family. I really love Kensington’s outfit. My little girl is obsessed with cats…where did you find that? Thanks so much and Happy Birthday Madeley!

  • Reply Susan October 24, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Ok, where did you get Kensington’s cat dress? My daughter would love that! Love all the fair pictures to, looks like a great time.

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama October 24, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      Boden 🙂

  • Reply Stephanie October 24, 2017 at 7:43 am

    I giggle every time I see or hear ‘corny’ dog! It’s a corn dog in Indiana, but ‘corny’ sounds much more fun!

  • Reply B.Y.S. October 24, 2017 at 7:48 am

    We used to raise goats!


  • Reply Bobbie October 24, 2017 at 7:56 am

    My family has a California desert tortoise. We got him when I was 5 years old and he was about the size of a half dollar—we named him Tiny. Now 27 years later he is about the size of a large plate/platter and we still call him Tiny :-). When they are small they can be in a tank with sand, etc. but now he has a fenced in area of the garden in my parents’ backyard. They actually hibernate 3-4 months of the year so he stays in a box in the garage at that time. They are pretty low maintenance pets! They do live a long time so my parents joke that one day he will belong to one of my siblings or I! Let me know if you have more tortoise questions!!

  • Reply Whitney Pegram October 24, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Eek! We love the fair!! And my hubby is a big kid when it comes to all those fair games!! 😉

  • Reply Liz October 24, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Such a fun day! Can’t wait to be back in Texas for the fair!

  • Reply Maria D October 24, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Looks like a ton of fun! Clearly both “big” and little kids had a great time.

  • Reply Amanda Breazeale October 24, 2017 at 8:07 am

    How fun! I love reading about the memories you create with your family!!

  • Reply Jill Foster October 24, 2017 at 8:25 am

    We have two tortoises that we adopted about 10 years ago. They are pretty easy pets, especially since they hibernate for a good part of the year. Ours make their way into our oldest daughter’s bedroom for some reason and once they are asleep for good we put them in a box and they sleep away the winter in the garage or a closet. I agree with someone above in that the blessing and drawback is that they live for sooooo long. They have minimal upkeep, but with that being said, one of ours got a respiratory illness and we have had to make our first few visits to the vet for several rounds of antibiotic shots. He seems to be getting better though, thank goodness.

  • Reply Brittany Hensley October 24, 2017 at 8:30 am

    That giant bear got me so tickled!! What a fun birthday for a sweet girl!!

  • Reply Kristin Tate October 24, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Madley “carried” the bear….that had me tickled!

  • Reply Ruth October 24, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Looks like fun! Fair week is one of the summer highlights where I live.

  • Reply Laura October 24, 2017 at 8:42 am

    My husband got a baby Sulcata Tortise when he was 12. 27 years and 70 pounds later that tiny little tortoise who lived in a fish tank now roams his own yard at our house. In the winter he has his own “turtle house” where he has heat lamps and eats his speciality hay. We legit have a trust fund for him so that someone will take him after we die! He’s super cool but a LOT of work. We live near you in the Park Cites in Dallas so have the same weather, and it’s a pretty good climate for them but do a lot of research!

  • Reply Cybill October 24, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Kensington’s face and dance in the last picture is GREAT! No doubt she had a blast! 🙂 Happy Birthday Madeley!

  • Reply Chelsea Hobbs October 24, 2017 at 8:52 am

    We have a tortoise! His name is Clyde 🙂 Literally the easiest thing to take care of. I got him from Petsmart for our first Christmas together! He loves walking around outside and swimming in his little pool. And just eats spring mix from the grocery store. When my nieces come over, they always play with him and watch him walk around. Smith would love it!

  • Reply Jaimie October 24, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Such fun, special memories for you and your whole family! xx

  • Reply Rebecca Brittain October 24, 2017 at 9:00 am

    What a blast! The stuffed toys for prizes always lure the kiddos in. I remember that well. I definitely love baby goats at the petting zoo, too, and not so much the larger goats. Have you tried “goat yoga”? We did it here in Houston with some friends. I’d say worth doing once, but there wasn’t a whole lot of real (great) yoga actually happening. 😉
    Rebecca @ everypiecefits.com

  • Reply Amanda @ That Inspired Chick October 24, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Girl, you took GREAT pictures! I laughed out loud over Andrew’s face with Smith driving! So funny! Next year, I’m going to try to convince my crew to go to the car show and petting zoo. We missed that this year!
    That Inspired Chick

  • Reply Alexis deZayas October 24, 2017 at 9:19 am

    What a fun day! Shay have you ever been to “Autumn at the Arboretum” at the Dallas Arboretum?! You would LOVE it!!

  • Reply April Bryan October 24, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I have a student in my art class who owns and breeds tortoises. They live in her backyard when they get bigger and live for a long long time. She uses her tortoise “Baby” for a lot of her projects.

  • Reply Kayla October 24, 2017 at 9:25 am

    My cousin has a tortoise (Torty)… not a very exciting pet because we can’t play with him… but he likes him! 🙂

  • Reply Anita G. October 24, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Good gracious that’s a gigantic bear!! Love it!

  • Reply Angelique at FourPointsMom.com October 24, 2017 at 10:16 am

    I cannot wait to take my kids to the state fair! I’m putting it on the calendar for next year! Happy birthday sweet Madeley – it looks like your day was amazing.


  • Reply Megan Jeffries October 24, 2017 at 10:44 am

    I love the little puppy on the steering wheel, with Ashby driving! So cute! Also, don’t tortoises live for like hundreds of years?!

  • Reply Lizzie @ This Happy Life October 24, 2017 at 10:58 am

    What a perfect way to celebrate your birthday!

  • Reply Amy S. October 24, 2017 at 11:00 am

    I hate to discourage any child from a pet (we had lots when my boys were growing up), but turtles in general are really not a good one in my opinion. My kids each got a little (tiny) turtle when they were little. They’re 27 and 32 now (my sons), living on their own, and I still have a turtle in my house. And tortoises live WAY longer than turtles. Plus there’s just not a ton of enjoyment from them. Can’t cuddle them, etc. And they’re smelly. So (sorry Smith!) I really suggest you steer him to something else…

  • Reply Kelli October 24, 2017 at 11:49 am

    I am in Shreveport- we were going to try and make it over that way for the Texas Fair, but will have to try again for next year! Looks like so much fun! Random question: I pretty much live in my TB Miller sandals and ❤️ them!! Are the flats super comfy as well?

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama October 24, 2017 at 12:33 pm


  • Reply Angela Ellingson October 24, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Looks like such a fun time!! 🙂

  • Reply Hailey October 24, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    A tortoise is not a good idea. They live for 100 years, which is incredible but the poor thing would outlive you or you’d tire of it before then, which isn’t fair to it.

  • Reply Meredith October 24, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    We have owned an African Sulcata tortoise for nearly a year. It is the easiest pet we’ve owned! They are not agressive Since we were new to the turtle world, we asked a million and one questions when we picked it up from the breeder. He currently lives inside a large aquarium with a light and heat lamp. Within two years they are able to live outside in your backyard. The fencing has to be secure b/c they do try to escape, especially if you have vertical slats. The breeder has a large corral his are kept in and are brought into their garage during the cool winter months. It’s a great conversational piece with company AND it’s a wonderful gift to pass down for generations to come!!!!

  • Reply Shelly October 24, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    How in the world have I been following along for so long and did not realize you had an October birthday too! I share mine with Miss Madeley!

  • Reply Annie October 24, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    I’ve never had a tortoise, but my husband’s cousin has one. Apparently they’re super smelly and – like that annoying relative who comes to visit – stick around way beyond their welcome! ;o)

  • Reply Meaghan October 24, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Hi Shay! Please check out #whynotdevin and join us in doing a random act of kindness this week to honor our sweet little superhero.

  • Reply Caitlin M October 25, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    We have had desert tortoises for years now. Honestly they are the easiest pets ever. As long as it is a tortoise not a turtle. Tortoises are much easier. We have let ours roam the backyard for 15+ years now and have had no problems. They eat grass, and occasionally we’ll throw out some vegetables or fruit for them. Seriously so low maintenance. We got ours from a tortoise rescue in SoCal, so I’m not sure where to get them where you are. They do hibernate in winter so they need somewhere they can dig a hole. I’m sure they will outlive us all though, so I guess it’s a pet that will passed on down the generations

  • Reply Kelli October 25, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Will you show the link for your top you wore to the fair. I tried to find it on Loft, but couldn’t find it. It may be sold out. 🙁

  • Reply Allison October 25, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I grew up with about every animal you can think of and tortoises by far live longer than any other pet we ever owned!! They can be cute, but they basically live in their tank and/or yard, but they aren’t the most fun pet. I would look into a turtle before a tortoise and make sure you research the life expectancy.

  • Reply Tracy October 26, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Catherine’s mom is adorable. So nice when both sides of a family enjoys being together. Andrew carrying the big bear on his shoulders cracks me up! What did you do with that thing? Love it!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama October 26, 2017 at 11:42 am

      It’s in Kensington’s room :).

  • Reply Renee October 27, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    I’ve had turtles my entire life and my mother had them as well growing up. They are probably the easiest of pets to have. We had California desert tortoises, they hibernate during the cold months so you have a part time pet lol. What do you want to know about them. I’ll be happy to answer.

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