Wanted to share some highlights from our recent family photo shoot… Ryan and I still look at each other in amazement that we have two kids! Alexandra turned 4 earlier this month and Knox turns 1 in just a couple weeks.
Wanted to share some highlights from our recent family photo shoot… Ryan and I still look at each other in amazement that we have two kids! Alexandra turned 4 earlier this month and Knox turns 1 in just a couple weeks.
Today my daughter & I were invited to attend the Grand Opening celebration for the Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids new location in Northwest Hills – Austin. They had raffle drawings for free haircuts for a year & a free glamour birthday party package, balloons, face-painting, food & drinks and more. Here’s a shot of my little one getting her “rainbow princess” face paint and in the background you can see the pretty fairytale frocks the girls get to play dress-up in at birthday parties.If all that rainbow-bling weren’t enough to send my tot into heartsparkle over-drive, they also paint their nails. Of course she chose purple glitter polish. Oh, AND it was done while she sat in a Frozen-themed Jeep. –She couldn’t stop smiling! 🙂 We also squeezed in my daughter’s second-ever haircut in the middle of all the fun. There are no corners cut when providing these kids’ their haircuts — they do a nice wash in the shampoo bowl, wet cut, blow-dry, a dry-cut for touch-ups, and then the stylist even put a tiny little braid in her hair afterward.See, the Sharkey’s name carries a lot of weight because they are so good with kids, and especially special-needs kids, too. They do lots of little things that the kids love, like playing on-demand their choice of favorite Netflix show at each cutting station! And for the older boys, there’s Xbox too.In the past, many families in my neighborhood would travel all the way to Cedar Park to visit our area’s only other Sharkey’s for their kids’ haircuts. In fact, my daughter’s very first haircut (which was right around her 3rd birthday) was at that location. We were thrilled to hear there was a brand new one opening up much closer to us at the intersection of 360 & 2222. Sharkey’s salons already hold a special place in my heart, but this new spot exceeded my expectations. The facility is clean & bright, the staff was talented & positive, the owner was kind & thoughtful and the new location is perfect for us!
#NSale, Adidas Superstar sneakers, baby shoes, Down Jackets, Freshly Picked, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, Patagonia, School Shoes, Stuart Weitzman, Tall Black Boots, Winter Boots, Winter Jackets
Currently underway and officially open to the public on July 20th, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is one of my favorite shopping events of the year. This time around, I took out all the fluff and went with staples that will last for years. Picked up items mostly for my kids: winter jackets, school shoes, etc. Plus, some tall black boots for Mama!
Stuart Weitzman boots: You’ll usually find at least one Stuart Weitzman boot as part of the #NSale — I have a navy pair that I love and have been eyeing a tall black boot from this brand for years. Stuart Weitzmans start at a high price point and it’s rare to find their good styles on sale. I couldn’t decide which style to choose, so I was advised to just order both & return one. –These will sell out quick!
Patagonia Jackets: These ultra-lightweight, packable jackets are surprisingly super warm. The weight is perfect for our winters in Austin, Texas. Again, this is a staple that rarely goes on clearance. Love the basic black color, too — goes with everything. They have them in most sizes so you can outfit the whole family…we purchased these pictured below for my husband and daughter. The hubs liked that his came with a generous sleeve length to cover his long arms.
New Shoes for the Kids: We purchased the Girl’s Adidas Superstar sneakers for our rainbow-loving daughter. The classic Adidas 3-stripes are holographic & add a bit of spunk to this classic shoe. We’ll keep ’em bright & shiny for the rest of the summer and let her have them as her new preschool shoes. For my infant son, I went with the Freshly Picked oxfords. These are the only type of shoes that stay on his lil’ kicky feet. They come in a perfect neutral color that’s sure to match all of his Fall baby clothes.
We have come to the conclusion of my 60-Day Love Your Skin Challenge with Anjum Hanafi, Independent Consultant at Rodan + Fields. And I must say, I have an appreciation for my skin unlike never before. Before I tried these products, I was at war with my face: constantly fighting off breakouts, dullness, oil production, dry flaky patches, and appearance of fine lines. Due to a variety of factors (hormone changes, lack of sleep, lifestyle change, and just from general aging) I never knew what face I’d wake up to in the morning. Plus, the unpredictability of it all was aggravating my postpartum anxiety! Now, through this skin care regime, I feel like I’m working WITH my skin, feeding it what it needs, and creating a harmony of hydration and health. There are few surprises these days and I’m grateful for that.
Ok, regarding my issues I was hoping to address:
Additionally, one product comes in the kit I received but wasn’t used in the challenge. I’m breastfeeding & it’s not recommended, so I had to hold off. BUT, it is amazing and award-winning and deserves a mention: R+F’s all new re-vamped Intensive Renewing Serum is all the rage — even featured in the April ’18 edition of Oprah’s O Magazine! The highest concentration of Vitamin A available on the market without a prescription, this powerful tiny daily-dose blue capsule packs a punch. Many Vitamin A serums on the market are too much for sensitive skin but this product is specifically formulated for even the most sensitive skin and works to visibly firm, smooth and revitalize the skin. It reduces the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles and the individual capsules ensure the product says fresh at every application.
Best part– my neighbor Anjum is running a special just for Blog Joie de Vivre readers: Get a FREE gift with any $80+ purchase! Y’all can choose from their Body Moisturizer, Foaming Sunless Tanner or Body Sunscreen. Here’s a simple & quick one-minute skin questionnaire with direct recommendations from the dermatologists…just fill it out as your first step and she’ll arrange your free exclusive gift.
Welcome to the middle of my 60-Day Love Your Skin Challenge…I am happy to report I am seeing improvement! The area that is showing up most significantly are in the acne scars along my cheeks. To illustrate it best, I tried to take a pic that’s back-lit and from the side to show off the texture. Subtle improvement, but the results are something I’ve never been able to achieve through any facial or topical cream, prescription or otherwise. Very excited to continue ‘rolling’ as I think the surface texture of my skin will continue to even out. No difference in fine lines yet, but honestly wrinkles are the least of my skin-specific worries.The little roller has been a bit of an adventure to use. I mean, there ARE ACTUAL NEEDLES that you’re rolling across your face! The sensation kind of surprised me at first, but I quickly got used to the feeling and now look forward to ‘rolling’ at night. You move in up/down and side-to-side motions and the process only takes one minute to cover the entire face. It needs to be rinsed with warm water after each use and submerged into an effervescent tablet solution (just like dentures, teehee!) twice a week.Regarding the Active Hydration Serum (pictured above), it has been a process getting my skin used to that level of moisture. As first, my skin felt sticky after each application. It was as if the skin was absorbing it very slowly. The product never sat on my skin and looked greasy, though (which has happened before with over-the-counter night creams). After a month of use, the clear serum formula is absorbed right away – as if my skin recalibrated & now accepts the product very well. I’m really enjoying the consistency of the lightweight formula – no residue on my fingers and my skin drinks it right up. I shouldn’t call it ‘lightweight’ though, because the product is actually quite an intense moisturizer! Plus, the cool applicator tool distributes the exact right amount for each use. My internal image of skin “dullness” is gone and the pesky flaky patches have vanished. ~More updates in another month! 🙂
Any reader of this blog knows I’m an avid tester of the latest skincare products. I absolutely love to try out new serums, creams, & cleansers and then share my reviews with y’all. My neighbor Anjum knows this, too, and suggested I give Rodan + Fields a try. She is a huge advocate of this line and sells it with great success. She prompted me to use certain personalized products and commit to them for 2 months — or, the 60-Day Love Your Skin Challenge. Because even with all the fun products that are sent to me for review, I still don’t exactly “love” my skin.
Through this challenge, we’re hoping to tackle a couple of issues I’m currently dealing with: acne scars and dullness. –Anyone in the same boat? I’m in my mid-thirties and finally the pimples I’ve dealt with my whole life are starting to subside. BUT, I’m left with subtle scarring, or slight pockmarks that show up at the right angle & in some lights. More noticeably, I have scarring that manifests as dark spots…those fade over time, but we’re talking MONTHS. My dermatologist told me the scarring could be addressed by a series of microneedling services. (Since I’m breastfeeding, there’s a lot of products and procedures I need to steer clear of for now.) Microneedling is safe, but the price tag is scary! The packages at my dermatologist’s office started around $800. Luckily R + F makes a roller than is basically the same idea but can be used on yourself in the convenience of your own home.The AMP MD Roller, Rodan + Fields micro-exfoliating roller, is designed to help the skin heal itself. As the micro-needles move across your skin (don’t worry, they don’t hurt!), signals are sent to the brain to “SEND COLLAGEN!” Collagen is what heals our wounds and gives our skin strength & elasticity, along with replacing dead skin cells. The micro-needles also create channels in our skin allowing any skincare products applied after to be absorbed quicker & deeper, creating results for a firmer tone, smoother texture, and a reduced appearance of lines & wrinkles!
The second skincare issue I’m hoping to rectify is dullness. This could be just a case of life with a newborn and general postpartum skin changes. I just feel like my skin is lacking luminosity. –I guess once you have that ‘pregnancy glow’ and then proceed to see it fade, you want it back, haha! Now, I haven’t been able to keep up with my facials over the last few months, so I know a contributing factor here is the lack of regular exfoliation. But Anjum tells me hydration is a major component in dealing with skin dullness. Again, since I’m breastfeeding she had to stick within certain ingredient boundaries but we found something that should work fabulously for me in their Active Hydration Serum.Active Hydration Serum (AHS) is a hydrating, oil-free serum that increases the hydration level in our skin. Often times, we apply moisturizer to our skin, thinking this will help with hydration. Moisturizers, in fact, only seal in EXISTING hydration — they do NOT add hydration to the skin! As we age, our level of skin hydration decreases, causing our skin to look dull and (dare I say it) droopy. AHS adds hydration into the skin, and when your skin is hydrated, it looks more vibrant, glowing, and smooth! AHS is formulated to benefit all skin types.
So, here begins Day 1 of our 60-Day Love Your Skin Challenge! I’ll keep ya posted during the journey and share my progress. –Interested in joining me? –Want to FINALLY love your skin? Check out the products here and reach out to Anjum on Instagram or Facebook. She’s always available to answer any skincare questions or recommend the right products.
Amy's Ice Cream, Austin Country Club, Austin Events, Austin's Pizza, Dell Match Play, Dining Guide, golf tournaments, Mighty Cone, weekend activities, World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play
One of the most elite and exciting tournaments on golf’s calendar, the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, is going down this weekend in Austin, TX. I think everyone who competes in, commentates on, attends or watches this event on TV falls a little bit in love with our fair city. The weather is absolutely divine, the setting is picturesque, and the food is on point! One thing most people don’t know about this tournament is that the dining options & entertainment offerings reflect the cool, hip #ATX vibe. In addition to the exciting play you’re sure to witness with golf’s top talent in the field, the Dell Match Play has become more than just a world-class golf event. Yep, it has really transformed into one of the most anticipated social & entertainment events of the year.Unlike some of the other more traditional or historic golf tournaments around the country, I believe this one is unique…it’s fun for both golf super-fans and those who may simply be fans of a good time. Even if someone isn’t a huge golf aficionado, they’ll find this event is perfect for enjoying a fun weekend out with friends. –There’s exceptional food, drinks, and entertainment all around! If you’ve already got your tickets, I want to share a handy entertainment guide to help plan your time at the tourney. Best Dining: The Dell Technologies Match Play has more to offer than your average sporting event, and there’s no better illustration of that than in the food selection, which brings some of Austin’s best to Austin Country Club. If it’s variety you’re after, The Fan Village is calling your name. Located along the 16th hole, there are plenty of choices sure to satisfy everyone in your group. Seating and shaded areas give fans the chance to rest, relax and enjoy some delicious menu items.
With Spring Break behind us and Summer just around the corner, it’s time for me to start thinking about eating healthy again. I’ll admit: during my pregnancy, I threw caution to the wind and ate absolutely whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I joke that my 8-pound, 12-ounce babe emerged from the womb 40% larger than his older sister did because he was so bloated on all my ice cream sandwiches and breakfast tacos. Now that I’m 6-weeks postpartum and have established a breastfeeding routine, I think it’s safe to reign it in again. I am actually really interested in health food trends and new grocery store options in this area are fascinating to me! Here are a few products new to the health food aisles that I’m trying this month:
Protein-packed Pastas: Have you tried lentil-based pasta yet? –It’s so yummy! Recently, Modern Table reformulated its entire product line. Now, each variety of nourishing noodles features dramatically improved pasta texture achieved through a blend of lentils, rice and peas containing all nine essential amino acids for long-lasting energy, good digestion and improved muscle health. Ready in 15 mins or less, they’re particularly convenient for me right now…it’s tough to cook a warm meal with a new baby in the family! Plus, all pastas are non-GMO, vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free.
Supercharged Water:Hydrive Energy Water is a new refreshing zero-calorie energy drink that’s perfect for exercise hydration. The formulas are light & flavorful with caffeine and added B vitamins. Hydrive comes in six flavors including Black Cherry, Blue Raspberry, Triple Berry, Citrus Burst, Kiwi Melon and Grape Fusion. My favorite one is the Citrus Burst — it tastes like a Creamsicle! As a former Diet Coke-addict turned 100% soda-free, my hubs has really enjoyed trying out this new option to rehydrate & recharge his workouts. Hydrive is available at major retailers such as Walmart, Kroger & QuikTrip for around $1.89 a bottle.
Gluten-free (& Guilt-free!) Cookies:Now this is what I like to hear when it comes to cookies: health food brand Munk Pack has launched Protein Cookies, featuring 18 grams of plant-protein per cookie. Even better, they are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, a good source of fiber, and available in four delicious flavors, including: Coconut White Chocolate Macadamia, Double Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, and Oatmeal Raisin Spice. Even better, these ready-to-eat Protein Cookies have no soy, no dairy, no cholesterol and no sugar alcohols. –Convenient, on-the-go nutrition full of better-for-you fuel!
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I’m feelin’ extra lovey-dovey this year, with my new lil’ guy here in my arms. Our newborn son is the sweetest cuddliest Valentine I could ask for! Since family will be in town helping with baby, I have this crazy idea that the hubs & I will be able to sneak out for a nice dinner BUT in reality, that might actually be a quick run out to the fro-yo shop 🙂 However the evening plays out, I want to make Feb. 14th feel somewhat romantical during this trying transitional period known as the newborn stage. It’s helped me to do some little things to feel pretty & vibrant these days, even if I am sleep deprived & a tad hormonal. Even if it’s just a date night in, here are some fun things I’m using to get Valentine’s date night ready…
Add Some Sparkle: I love how necklaces dress up a basic tee like magic. I’m relying on them to be a quick outfit pick-me-up when all I want to wear these days are comfy clothes. Y’all may have heard of fibi & clo, a women’s shoe and accessories brand that offers unique and eye-catching sparkly designs. As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, jewelry gift ideas can come in large supply, but when they are affordable and on trend – even better. They recently released an all-new line of jewelry that is purposefully paired with their signature sandals. I recently got the Seahorn Necklace & the Montauk Necklace ($55 each) and am fawning over the amount of semi-precious stones on each…so sparkly!
Putting on a Fresh Face: One of the rituals I’ve tried to keep up with post-delivery is putting on my makeup. I’m a makeup-lovin’ girl, and for me, it’s something about getting ready for the day & putting on a fresh face of make up that makes me feel like normal again. Even if I’m not leaving the house, the process just helps me feel good about myself. I received a shipment of a new-to-me makeup line, CATRICE Cosmetics, and I have to say: I’m impressed with both the product and price point. If you’re not familiar with CATRICE, they are a European brand who just launched stateside. Originally from Germany, they are now available in 60 countries world wide and expanding to 300 ULTA locations in the U.S. this year. CATRICE is known for being a luxury product at an amazing price point, offering a wide range of complexion, eye and lip products, featuring luxury packaging, innovative ingredients and beautiful, on-trend shades.
New Night Cream: One of my favorite non-toxic skincare lines, PUR attitude, has just released Advanced Cell Renewal Night Crème, a high-performance anti-aging cream that delivers key ingredients into the skin overnight via a natural polymer time-released technology. While the health benefits of eating fermented, probiotic foods are widely accepted in the food industry at this time, their use in skin care is relatively new. Fermenting natural oils restructures complex molecules, transforming them into tiny “superfoods” for the skin, providing faster absorption that results in healthier, younger-looking skin. Advanced Cell Renewal Night Crème uses a fermented olive oil for superior performance. –Kind of like Kombucha for the skin!
New year, new leaf. Taking a minute this month to clean out my medicine cabinet and refresh my regular routines. This is the perfect time to replace or clean brushes (makeup, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, etc.), exfoliate that dead wintery skin with a mask & new hydrating products, and revive hair with a good healthy cleanse. Here are some new products I’m trying as part of my New Year’s beauty routine refresh:
Face Masks: Get radiant, younger-looking skin from Vichy’s Mineral Face Masks born from earth, water and rock. Whether used alone or for multi-masking, these face masks are empowered by natural minerals such as Bentonite Clay to leave your skin feeling fresh and purified. Right now, I especially love the Quenching Mineral Mask by Vichy (pictured on the left). A deeply hydrating mineralizing face mask, it contains Vitamin B3 to soothe and replenish the skin with 24-HR hydration. It immediately hydrates, soothes and strengthens skin with 10% concentration of Vichy Thermal Mineralizing Water (which is rich in 15 minerals that help skin resist everyday aggressors for strong, healthy skin.)
New Toothbrush: After my last teeth cleaning when I was tenderly informed of a condition called Pregnancy Gingivitis (hint hint?), I know it’s time to get back on track and make dental care a top priority. Doctor Plotka’s is the leading toothbrush for better health because it contains antimicrobial bristles infused with silver! I first heard about the health benefits of silver from my interview with designer Rebecca Minkoff and have been intrigued by its uses ever since. Not only are the bristles antimicrobial, but they mimic flossing and are long-lasting. Time to toss out our current brushes and try these for fresh & healthy teeth in the new year.
Toner for your Scalp: Although a day on the slopes, a walk in the rare peek of sunshine, or basking in the low-humidity air can make for perfect winter days, they also make a dry mess out of your hair & scalp. That’s why I’m trying out something I’ve never used before: a purifying scalp and hair toner. –Have you heard about girls who “wash” their hair in Apple Cider Vinegar? Well, Essential Rinse is a new product along those lines…but the formula smells great and has that lower pH, which will clarify and purify the hair instantly. Apparently it’s very easy to use: after cleansing with shampoo, massage the product into wet hair & scalp, distributing evenly with your fingers before rinsing thoroughly with water.