Event Recap: Dry Society Styling Lounge debuts blow-dry studio near The Domain


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Dry Society Styling Lounge is North Austin’s newest blow dry studio specializing in blowouts, braids and fabulous up-dos.  My guest Alicia were ‘blown away’ at their lavish debut party the night of October 15th.  We had the pleasure of meeting Dry Society’s experienced team of stylists, owners, and their Creative Director, Rick Klepach.best-dry-societyConveniently located adjacent to The Domain, guests enjoyed sounds by DJ A/C, an open Veuve Clicquot champagne bar and light hor d’ oeuvres.dry-society-2 Whether you’re headed to a special event, a night on the town or simply need a pick-me-up, Dry Society has you covered.  Located adjacent to The Domain, Dry Society offers a variety of beautiful styles that suit every taste.  The stylists at North Austin’s premier blow dry bar focus on one thing and doing it well:  no cuts, no color, just couture style and beautiful blowouts that last and last.  dry-society-3Dry Society is open seven days a week, Monday-Wednesday 9am to 6pm, Thursday-Saturday 9am to 7pm and Sunday 10am to 5pm, or by appointment. For more information, please call Dry Society Styling Lounge at 512-906-0759.

Life{style} Oct. ’16 — This Halloween, Trick the Kids with Treats that are Healthy


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It’s that time of year again…stores are pushing bags upon bags of that infamous Halloween candy. Sure, they’re festive & wrapped in devilishly attractive orange & black packaging, but don’t be tricked into buying extra treats filled with shocking amounts of sugar and a ton of chemical ingredients you can’t even pronounce. With Oct. 31st a mere two weeks away, I shudder to think about the mountain of artificially colored & sweetened candy that will be at our family’s fingertips. So, I figure it’s no better time than the present to showcase some new healthy snack options to hit the market — call it a little pre-Halloween damage control. Best of all:  everything here is kid-friendly and portable for life on-the-go! Stock up on these healthy offerings to provide a quick hunger-curbing option to reach for over all that leftover Halloween candy:

Thrive by GoMacro:  GoMacro is a family-owned vegan company that was started by a mother-daughter team on their organic farm in Southwest Wisconsin. While you may be familiar with their original MacroBars, they have launched a delicious new line of plant-based bars called Thrive.go-macroThrive are made up of a superfood ancient grain blend, are all less than 200 calories and provide plant-based protein, essential fatty acids, and prebiotic fiber to fuel your body and mind. Like all GoMacro products, Thrive are USDA-Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher, Gluten-Free certified, 100% Vegan, and soy-free. Thrive is currently available to purchase online and will become available at Whole Foods Market locations this month.  *Special discount for Blog Joie de Vivre readers:  Use code Thrive30 for 30% off of your purchase for Thrive at GoMacro’s online store.

HOPE Foods hummus:  Whatever your tastebuds are craving, HOPE has tons of mouthwatering flavors to give you total satisfaction. Featuring unique flavors such as Spicy Avocado, Chocolate, Thai Coconut Curry and more, this label has pioneered adventurous flavors in the hummus category.
hope-hummusA healthy alternative to other fattening dips on the market, HOPE makes a terrific snack for the whole family. Eat it with pita chips, vegetables or try one of their mouth-watering recipes — from mashed potatoes to jalapeño cilantro cornbread, the possibilities are endless! Organic, dairy-free, and vegan-approved, this creamy hummus dip uses a state of the art High Pressure Processing (HPP) technique. Instead of using heat pasteurization which can fill hummus with tons of unwanted preservatives, they ensure the best quality hummus by using cold-pressure technology. You can find HOPE hummus at natural grocers like Whole Foods Market & Sprouts, as well as many conventional retailers like Safeway & Price Chopper.

Crispy Fruit:  Have you tried a bag of these freeze-dried fruit snacks from Crispy Green? There’s just one nutritious ingredient in every bag:  fruit. That’s right, 100% pure fruit, nothing else. Their freeze-drying process produces delicate slices that snack like a chip, but contain the perfect balance of flavor & nutrients provided by mother nature – making it both delicious AND healthy.
crispy-greenLightweight and long-lasting (no refrigeration necessary), the all-natural, Non-GMO Project-verified snack is ideal for Halloween, but also perfect for school lunches and extracurricular activities for kids (and parents) constantly on the go. There are NO skeletons in the closet here – Crispy Fruit has no cholesterol or fat, no added sugar, is free of additives and preservatives, is nut-free, Kosher certified and has a long shelf life. Crispy Fruit is available online and in retailers such as The Fresh Market, Harris Teeter, ShopRite, Safeway and selected Whole Foods Markets.

Mom-to-mom life hacks from designer Rebecca Minkoff


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Earlier this Fall, I received an invitation to interview Rebecca Minkoff before her meet & greet event at Neiman Marcus – Austin.  Rebecca Minkoff is an industry leader in accessible luxury handbags, accessories, footwear and apparel.  Her playful and subtly edgy designs can be spotted around the world on young women and celebrities alike.

Guests enjoyed light bites, cocktails, and hip beats while shopping a well-curated selection of Minkoff’s Fall ’16 line across all categories.  The space was full of booties with embroidery and clutches with colorful tassels!  A local artist was on-hand customizing pieces with monogramming, plus the designer herself signed purses for fans.  At first I was a little embarrassed to bring in my ancient canvas & leather tote, but turns out  Minkoff loved seeing this little blast from the past (it’s like 9 years old & bears her old logo)…and she even snapped a pic of it to share with her team!rm-bag-pic

Meeting her up close & personal was such a fun opportunity!  She is everything you’d imagine an international fashion designer to be:  tall, slender, styled all fashion-forward, but totally funny & charming, too.  She runs a legit major fashion line with her brother and seemingly rocks her role of wife & mom, too.  Of course, I couldn’t help but ask her about being a mom:rm-interview-pic-2

–What’s one thing every mom should have in her M.A.B.? (the ‘Morning After Bag’ that propelled her brand into the limelight)

RM:  A paci and silver gel.

–Silver gel?  Never heard of it!  Is that like colloidal silver?

RM:  Yes, it’s like this (gestures to a bottle of Purell on our table) but it’s natural.  It’s great for kids because they’re always touching everything.  You can put it on their fingers and just under the nose.

{Awesome tip for keeping the little ones healthy, right?  Apparently it has powerful antimicrobial properties.  Check out some brands & types of silver gel here on Amazon.}

–So I read somewhere that asking a woman “How to you balance it all?” is the new “What are you wearing?”  …I still think it’s a very relevant question for moms, so I’ll go ahead and ask it anyway.

RM:  It’s relevant because we’re all hoping someone has the answer, hoping someone’s got it all figured out.

–That’s comforting to hear that maybe even someone a successful as you is still perhaps feeling the same way as the rest of us!  You totally seem to have it all together, though.  What’s a mom-to-mom life hack you can share?

RM:  Hmm, that’s a hard one!  I try to do a very conscious job of not fitting kids into a mold.  I let them be free as kids, rather than this force of boxing them in.  I try & stay calm…just be a sea of calm, because they feed off how you react.  Comfort is greater than sympathy.

ATX Mamas: find us Saturday night at Hush Hush Music Bash!


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Austin-area kids are invited to rock their hearts out at The Domain’s the third annual Hush Hush Music Bash, a free music festival for kids on Saturday, October 8, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Baby Alexandra & I went last year and had an absolute blast!  Such cool family event and a nice ACL-alternative.hush-hush-music-bash-2

KB Whirly will kick off the bash at 3 p.m.  Known for his earthy, folksy, bluesy and always upbeat music, KB incorporates storytelling, improvisational song writing and interactive music making in his one-man band.  Next, The Que Pastas will hit the stage at 4 p.m.  This local kindie (kid+indie=kindie) band’s uplifting, highly interactive and ridiculously funny performance is sure to thrill the kids.  At 5 p.m., Sonia De Los Santos’ musical stories will inspire messages of joyful community music making and cultural bridge building. Performing songs about history, art and culture, El Tule Band will perform at 6 p.m., finishing off a night that will have kids begging for more. hush-hush-music-bash-3

In addition to getting down and funky at the main concert, kids will enjoy hands-on activities, giveaways and more, all on the lawn outside iPic Theaters.

For more info, check out the Facebook event page.  See y’all there, Mamas! 

National Taco Day: free fajita tacos & fundraiser for Austin Children’s Shelter


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Calling all my Tex-Mex lovers:  Today is National Taco Day!  Whew, I’ve never lived in a city with so many taco places:  from the fancy modern (La Condesa), to the trailer park (Torchy’s) to the drive-thru (Taco Cabana) — it’s head-spinning!  When I first moved to Austin, I would baffle at how there was a various taco option for every meal of the day.  Well, to celebrate today’s occasion, Austin Taco Cabanas will offer guests one FREE Chicken Fajita Taco from 5-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4. ntd-image-1This event will also celebrate the launch of Taco Cabana’s month-long fundraiser, Taco Treat, to benefit the Austin Children’s Shelter.  Throughout October, local Taco Cabana guests can help raise money for the charity by purchasing $1 coupon books.  Coupon booklets include five free bean and cheese tacos and a buy-one-get-one Dr Pepper fountain drink – a $7 value, with 100% of the proceeds going to the organization.  So go ahead & grab some tacos for lunch AND dinner today — c’mon, it’s for the kids!😉ntd-image-2

Guest Post: Soft Surroundings Opening Event by Cassie LaMere


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Although temps outside may not scream hot cocoa, inevitably the months will sneak up on us and before you know it, you’ll be decorating your tree and wrapping the presents to go underneath. With the official start of fall now behind us, it’s time to begin thinking about holiday shopping lists to get those perfect gifts ready ahead of the eventful season! Now more than ever, busy schedules are the norm; we are all doing our best to find balance, which includes seeking ways to make more efficient use of what little time we have day-to-day. That’s why I love when I can find a thoughtfully curated shop that allows me to pick up a variety of items- only one parking spot and checkout transaction required.


Editor’s Note:  Follow our guest blogger Cassie LaMere on Instagram @BonjourAmi for all kinds of inspirational Fashion & Event Planning goodness.

Imagine my delight to discover that dream destination exists in the new Arboretum boutique, Soft Surroundings! They’re new location, the first in Austin, truly is an ideal store for the multi-tasker in all of us. While browsing their items, I was excited to find pieces that would easily appeal to several of the very important people in my life. Soft Surroundings was created to be a multi-generational shopping experience where you and your mom, sister or daughter could each find something special that speak to your tastes and interests.


The perfect game-day clutch that can easily go from the cheering section to cocktails.  $98.95

The diverse offerings of this boutique made it easy for me to select unique, personal gift options that I know will be well-received during gift exchanges this holiday season. But let’s be honest: if you’re like me, you can’t help but find something for yourself when out gift shopping for others. True to form, I found a new must-have accessory to add to my collection in between checking names off of my list. Although easy to sometimes forget, Soft Surroundings’ ethos about the importance of treating yourself is a welcomed reminder to pick up a new lipstick or travel-friendly hat in addition to tackling your task list.


“Claire” packable felt & wool hat:  my personal new favorite item that makes accessorizing while traveling effortless!  $49.95

What’s even better is with the head start, I’ve avoided the stress of making last minute purchases, which always seem to be a compromise, and instead I’ll have plenty of time to enjoy glasses of festive bubbly and time with loves ones! Below are some of my picks that will be sure to bring tidings of comfort and joy:


A selection of clever & insightful books for 9-to-5 and after 5 o’clock somewhere.  $14.95 — $20.



Fabulous tartan plaid shirtdress perfect for holiday gatherings.  $129.95


The absolute coziest jacket that you will literally want to live in.  $64.95


Life[style]: Sept. ’16 — Back-to-School Goodies for Mom


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Now that we’re mid-September and in the shadow of back-to-school everything, I thought I’d share a few goodies that have helped me make the transition.  Now, my little one is only in a half-day preschool program twice a week, so I cannot empathize with the Xena Warrior Mamas who shuttle to/from school 5 days a week, coach/attend practice, and then simultaneously cook dinner/pack lunches for the next day.  I haven’t yet been able to relate to that big back-to-school stress, BUT I can empathize with adjusting to the change of swinging back into a routine…  getting up a bit earlier, meal planning, being more productive, and saying sayonara to the unstructured days of summer.  Here’s my review on a healthy snack option, a drink for my fitness friends, and a nifty refresh pack that comes in handy MacGyver-style no matter where your mom-mobile takes ya.

Crunchies:  This new & tasty line of all-natural, freeze-dried fruit and vegetable snacks contains just one simple, authentic ingredient:  fresh produce.  Crunchies has developed a snack food that’s not just addictive and delicious but packed with impressive nutrition to boot.  Hello, my new lunchbox go-to!


Available in both single-serve packs and larger grab-n-go resealable pouches, Crunchies freeze-dried products provide a much-needed respite from junk foods and other processed snacks.  They contain no added sugar and no artificial flavors or coloring and are non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, kosher and halal certified.  Crunchies’ product line includes strawberries, mango, pineapple, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, cinnamon apple, strawberry banana, mixed fruit and beets.

Jet Set Kit by Savvy Travelers:  Originally designed for frequent fliers, this handy box o’ beauty & wellness is just as valuable for on-the-go moms.  Savvy Travelers offers a no-rinse line of disposable yet eco-friendly products –Made in Cali– that help keep us feelin’ so fresh & so clean clean.  Their individually wrapped cosmetic wipes are curated for the sophisticated savvy travelista!  savvy-traveler

No Water?  –No Problem!  This line of pre-packaged kits with single-use individually wrapped beauty wipes, such as the “Jet Set Kit” (featured here) contains 4 antiperspirant deodorant wipes, 4 mouth cleansing wipes, 4 cleansing and moisturizing wipes for the face and 4 lens and screen cleaning wipes.  These are a savior in the school pick-up line when you’re stuck in the car but still want freshen up, making all that running around we do more convenient and healthier all around.

CitraGreen Sport:  As we continue to face the new school year head-on, many parents are concerned with keeping illness away, especially with the fall and winter months approaching.  CitraGreen is a way to maintain the essential nutrients and vitamins we need daily just by simply dissolving a tablet in 8 ounces of water.  Now, I’ve reviewed CitraGreen before, but I wanted to be sure and share their gym supplement offering, too!


Benefits of CitraGreen Sport:

  • Sports recovery offered during and post-exercise with electrolytes POTASSIUM, CALCIUM, MAGNESIUM, PHOSPHOROUS, IRON + 4 more essential minerals.
  • Contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Iron for a healthy immune system.
  • Contains Vitamin E, Manganese and Selenium antioxidants which contribute to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.
  • Complete Vitamin B complex (6 B Vitamins) to combat Vitamin B deficiency and boost energy levels – with Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B12 and Iron which contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Also contains Vitamin B1.
  • Contains Vitamins D2 (ergocalciferol) which, like many Vitamin D foods, fights to combat symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency or low Vitamin D.
  • Suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets with organic wheatgrass.
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Life[style]: August ’16 — late summer loves


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I’m not in back-to-school mode just yet…holding onto these last few days of summer with these August favorites:

Nerium Firming Body Contour Cream:  Body cream — because I’m still rocking the shorts & will still be wearing them for probably another month, maybe two!  There’s no question that our gym routines directly affect how toned, firm and tight the skin appears, but a sun care regimen is equally important for keeping the skin healthy and youthful looking.  So this summer, load up on sunscreen AND antioxidants— whether you’re gym or beach bound.Nerium
Skin can only withstand so much exposure to UV radiation, pollution, and smog before it starts to reveal signs of aging:  loss of elasticity, leathery texture, freckling or hyperpigmentation—all can eclipse the benefits of that hard work at the gym!  Enter Nerium International Firming Body Contour Cream, NeriumAD Formula, $120, which nourishes and soothes dry, sun-exposed skin while also providing anti-aging benefits (unlike other body creams). Nerium Firming Body Cream packs some powerful ingredients—Forskohlii root oil and Caffeine—to help smooth and tighten skin’s appearance. An exclusive, patented ingredient, NAE-8—with antioxidant properties—helps firm and tone problem areas for sleeker, more youthful-looking skin. In an independently conducted clinical trial, 92% of participants showed positive improvement on their thighs and 83% noticed an improved appearance of skin smoothness and cellulite.

Little Black Dress Wines:  Have y’all tried a taste of LBD?  The company takes its name from the iconic little black dress, celebrated for its timelessness, playful elegance and versatility.  They’ve just released new modern, sophisticated packaging and I’m drawn to the sleek black & white look!  But, the brand is more than looks – it’s about confidence.  It’s about knowing you’ve chosen something fantastic, and not having to shout it from the rooftop.  I brought this bottle over to a recent Girls’ Night In and it went fast!  LBD wine

Still synonymous with understated elegance, LBD can easily go from casual evenings in to fancy nights out.  Accessorized with fruit-forward aromas, hints of dazzle, an impeccable sense of balance and a body to die for, LBD Wines cover every mood, from spirited to sophisticated.  Masterfully crafted from California grapes, these wines appeal to confident, fashionably-minded women (ahem, read: the PERFECT hostess gift!) and includes Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Diva Pink Pinot, Diva Red, Merlot, Moscato, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir.

BullFrog Mosquito Coast:  Y’all, I’ve been praying it would’t come here but the Zika virus has officially landed in the U.S. with our first home-grown cases appearing in Miami.😦 Admitting the mosquito-borne disease was “scarier than we initially thought,” the CDC says knowledge is lacking about which drugs or vaccines may be effective. Then, there is the northward expansion of the mosquitoes which transmit the virus. Aedes aegypti has been seen as the main Zika culprit, but Culex quinquefasciatus also may be a vector — and that mosquito is 20x more common.Bull Frog.jpg

August in Texas reaches a fever-pitch of heat, sunshine, and yes…mosquito activity.  So, I’m into the added value of lotions that combine sun protection with effective mosquito protection.  BullFrog was the world’s first mass-marketed fusion of sunscreen with insect repellent and today, BullFrog Mosquito Coast — proudly made in the USA— is America’s #1 selling sunscreen/bug spray combo.  DEET-free, too!

Mixing Pearls + Leather with designer Wendy Mignot


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I’ll admit, I haven’t always loved my birthstone.  As a June birthday girl, I used to think the pearl wasn’t as fancy or precious as say, the ruby (the stone for my mother’s July birthday).  But, as I’ve gotten older & wiser –and my tastes have refined!– I’ve come to love the pearl and delight in wearing it with my summer whites all season long.  I relish in the fact that each & every pearl is unique and are found in different colors and shapes around the world.  I was honored to receive a unique fine pearl and leather bracelet from designer Wendy Mignot for my birthday this year and wore it all during my recent weekend away in Vegas…

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No one takes the classic white freshwater pearl out of its shell and into fresh, trending jewelry settings better than designer Wendy Mignot.  For over a decade, she has been the leader in fashioning pearls found naturally in freshwater rivers and seas with naturally tanned and hand-rolled leathers.  I’m wearing the Coastal Single Freshwater Bracelet in White, size 6.5″ — the pearl is HUGE and the handmade quality is so good!

Pearl bracelet airport

What I like about her designs that that they are a fresh mix of materials that work well with various looks & locations.  My piece was just as fab with a dress at brunch as it was  poolside.  I’m rocking it in the pic above stacked with my watch for a casual but upscale airport look.  View all of Wendy Mignot’s artistically designed creations at www.wendymignot.com

pearl bracelet box

Life[style]: July ’16 — Summer Essentials


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A few of my favorite finds from summer so far:  an all-natural bug spray to keep families safe from outdoor pests, a line of summer-friendly scents for workouts & errands, and a new bubbly beverage on the market.

Buzz Away:  With growing concern this year surrounding mosquito-borne diseases, it is more important than ever to protect our families from these biting pests. Buzz Away Extreme is an all-natural insect repellant made with essential plant oils that delivers the same protection as many chemical DEET-based repellents, without the negative effects on individual health and the environment.Buzz Away*Giveaway:  Use the hashtag #bugfreefun to be entered to win a Buzz Away Extreme Super Pack which includes an 8oz bottle of Buzz Away Extreme, container of child-friendly towelettes and a $50 Amazon Gift Card.  Plus, Blog Joie de Vivre readers can use the code 10OFFBUZZ to get 10% off any Buzz Away Extreme product at quantumhealth.com. The code is valid through September 30 and can be used once per customer.

ActivESSENCE:  Now that summer is finally here, we can shed our drab winter wardrobes and replace them with our favorite warm weather prints and colors. Since we all treat ourselves to a new fashion wardrobe each season, why shouldn’t we indulge in a refreshed and updated fragrance wardrobe?ActivESSENCEThe full spectrum of colorful scents offered by the collection boast time-released fragrance, suited for lasting all through a sweltering summer day.  These mists allow you to completely revamp your fragrance arsenal while simultaneously providing your skin with essential oils and vitamins A, C, and E, leaving it feeling nourished, hydrated, and supple.  Ah, yet another product that harnesses the power & goodness of essential oils…I’m seeing a pattern here!

smartwater sparkling:  In this extreme heat, I think we can all agree that hydration is key!  My favorite still water brand, smartwater, is always my first choice.  The vapor-distilled bottled water with added electrolytes for a crisp, pure taste is the perfect accomplice for my daily routine. smart water sparklingThe newly launched smartwater sparkling offering is a beverage option that will elevate any dining experience.  Y’all know I love the bubbly, but when you simply cannot ‘Rose All Day,’ this is the perfect alternative for some bubbles in my life😉