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.
Earlier this summer, I was sent a couple of clothing pieces for Alexandra by a family-owned children’s line called Little Goodall. I was intrigued by this label because it’s hand-sewn in TEXAS and created a fellow mom. When the box arrived from Dallas, I was delighted by both the high-quality fabrics & cuteness-factor of the dress & bubble romper designer Molly Goodall sent over. This weekend, we took some pics of our dear tot in her adorable new duds so I wanted to share them with y’all. I love the idea of supporting local Texas-based designers — the pride of the work really shines through in the finished product. This cold-shoulder gingham dress received so many compliments at church yesterday! Handcrafted in sewing rooms that have been producing fine women’s garments in the U.S. for over 20 years, the same classic tailoring techniques used on the best blouses — including deep hems, covered buttons, and bias ruffles — are applied to the children’s styles as well. Little Goodall’s collection is classic and made to last. Even better, both pieces pictured are currently at a reduced price as part of their Midsummer Sale!Dress up your little ones in extra-special handmade outfits that look fresh, and feel soft & cool against sun-kissed skin. Thoughtfully designed for the activity and motion of a busy child, each Little Goodall piece is handmade with the highest quality and attention to detail so the outfits will last for years to come. Plus, their seasonal collections are only available in limited quantities, so you’ll receive a unique garment you won’t likely see another child wearing at the park or back-to-school. The collection includes outfits for boys and girls, including bonnets, dresses, rompers and more. All Little Goodall pieces can be mixed and matched. Effortlessly dress your little one in Bubble Rompers with a clever inner liner that keeps the perfect pouf shape no matter how active your little monkey. Shoulder ties are accentuated with signature bell tassels, and delightful prints match the bonnets. The imported Liberty London Cotton Lawn is the finest, smoothest, lightest, natural fabric for summer, in the loveliest tiny prints which delight and not overwhelm.About Little Goodall: Little Goodall is created by artist and designer Molly Goodall. While a stay-at-home mother, Goodall was frustrated when her two-year old son refused to wear the hoods on his coats. Searching for a creative solution, she designed and made the original Ferocious Felt Lion coat to inspire him to put his hood up in the cold. Friends commented, orders were placed, and Little Goodall was born! Molly is also the author of the creative sewing book Wild Things to Sew and Wear, published in the fall of 2014.
Exactly three years ago, our family shared some very special news: that we were expecting our first child, a baby girl born in January of 2015. Now, at age two and a half, Alexandra August has some big changes coming up in her future… Ryan and I are expecting our second child! Alexandra will be Big Sister to a little mister! Baby BOY Wiese is due in February 2018.
After Bite, Alastin, backyard toys, beach bag, bottled water, bug bites, cleansing cloths, Hawaiian Volcanic Water, pool tote, pool toys, Summer Beauty, Summer's Eve, summertime, sunscreen, toy-lending library, Toybrary, Waiakea, wipes
This summer we’ve been spending A LOT more time outside: checking out the best playgrounds in Austin, visiting our neighborhood pools and checking out area splash pads. All those activities out in the elements require some extra supplies! It’s easy if the pool tote just stays in the trunk so it’s packed and ready to go for wherever we end up. Here are some products that are perfect for your summertime beach bag!
A Sweat-Proof SPF: ALASTIN HydraTint ProMineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36 is lightweight, oil-free, absorbs quickly and has a complexion-enhancing tint to even out tone for light, comfortable coverage. Other sunscreens make skin slick and sticky. But ALASTIN HydraTint’s active ingredients, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, sop up excess oil and help create a mattifying effect on skin—so you can say good-bye to shine.
The best part is that it’s ideal to wear when you’re going to be active outdoors during the summer. It has a 40 minute water resistance rating, which helps wick off sweat and keep skin protected during a sweat sesh. Plus, since this is a mineral sunscreen, it won’t sting if it gets into your eyes. When you go out, consider this the only all-in-one skin enhancing, age defying, broad spectrum sunscreen you need. Here’s to effortless beauty—even when you sweat.
Instant Relief for Bug Bites & Stings: I was stung by a yellowjacket in my backyard last week and this stuff worked in a flash. I immediately iced the area, followed with a dab of After Bite, and the wasp sting was gone! After Bite has provided instant itch relief from bug bites and stings for over 40 years for adults and kids. The pharmacist-preferred, proprietary mix of soothing ingredients acts fast when you need it most so that bites and stings don’t ruin family fun. After Bite Kids is also available with a non-stinging sensitive cream that is gentle on kids or perfect for anyone with sensitive skin. Available at Walmart, CVS, Target, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Kroger, and at afterbite.com.
Rental Pool Toys: Don’t want to invest in a multitude of outdoor-appropriate toys this summer? —Toybrary to the rescue! Use your membership to Austin’s local toy-lending library to rent backyard, pool & bath toys this summer. They’ve got bikes & trikes, sit & spins, cones & parachutes, a mini Radio Flyer wagon, and lots more. Banish their summer boredom with new toys every two weeks! I picked up some fun cars & trucks, this tug boat Pictured above, and a little swing for my toddler’s dolls during our last visit. We can pop the cars and this little boat in the pool bag and we’ve got an easy enhancement for our outdoor play dates.
Hawaiian Hydration: Gotta admit: I occasionally entertain the indulgence of splurging on fancy bottled waters from across the globe. Pack a few bottles of this alkaline water all the way from Hawaii to feel a little fancy during your next day in the sun. Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water has just launched eco-friendly six and 12 packs of its award-winning alkaline water. Waiakea is not just the only certified CarbonNeutral bottled beverage in the country (helllllooo, eco-friendly), but it is also lauded for its wide variety of ethical initiatives that benefit communities both in its local Hawaii and across the globe.
Refreshing Wipes: Ever feel the need to freshen up? We’ve all had daily “not so fresh” moments, especially during the heat & humidity of summer! Whether running to a class or a meeting, post work-out with no time to shower, or even during that time of the month, Summer’s Eve Cleansing Cloths provide an easy and discreet way to feel confidently fresh. The cloths are lightly fragranced and quickly wipe away odor-causing bacteria. Available in scents like Aloe Love, Island Splash, Sheer Floral, and Simply Sensitive at CVS, Duane Reade, Walmart, Target, Amazon and Walgreens.
Hint: it’s not flowers. It’s not chocolates. It’s not a store-bought greeting card. Many moms are over-scheduled, burdened by the day-to-day routine, and weary wearing the hat of caregiver for the whole family. We mamas keep this ship afloat, fo’ real. While we manage it all and love doing it, sometimes it’s a little overwhelming being everything to everyone. Sure, our hearts melt at a hand-crafted creation made with love from the littles but Dadas, consider breaking from the traditional gifts this Mother’s Day:
–What service would provide a momentary vacation from her daily responsibilities at home?
–What hobby did she enjoy pre-kids but is kinda missing out on these days?
–What is a luxury she could use & enjoy but just simply would not buy for herself?
Yes, her heart is bursting with love for your family, but what about the refreshing power of time for herself? –Self-care isn’t selfish! A long brunch with the girls, a week of dinners delivered-in, a surprise mani-pedi appt. — these are just a few thought starters. It doesn’t even have to be fancy or expensive…a drawn bubble bath or a morning to sleep-in goes a long way. I’ve rounded up a couple more ideas below:
A Toast: Breakfast in bed is certainly a treat, but a glass of rose’ is even better! Pour, serve, and cheers to her. After the kids go down to bed, escort her out to the back patio…think about & share a few words about what she means to the family or what you love about her as a mom. Perfect for sunset-watching and porch-rocking, these new canned wines are portable, safe around the pool, and easy to pair with even the most casual of meals from the grill. The Chicago-based Backpack debuted in September and is available in two blend varieties, Cheek Rose’ and Snappy White, in four-can packs. Backpack Wine offers a unique combo of great-tasting, quality wine in an approachable, rebellious and fresh manner.
Adults-only: Ok, family time is the BEST but we all could use a little adult-interaction from time to time. –We need to talk predictions for Game of Throne’s last season with people who are actually allowed to watch the show! Child-care cards from Toybrary hold a $25 value, which can go toward daytime drop-in care during the week or Parents Night Out on Saturday evenings. Date-night? Summer blockbuster on the big screen? Appt. at the blow-dry bar? –The gift of a child-free excursion is up to her! Whether she’s thinking a couple’s candlelit dinner or lunch with the ladies, these gift cards are little tokens of your support toward her independence. Might just give her the push she needs to get out there and reconnect with an old friend or try that new restaurant in town.
Two years into this whole parenthood thing, I’m just getting used to the concept of “date-night.” When you’re married & childless, any occasion, day-or-night, can be turned into a “date”…heck, your whole life outside of work is one big date! And score! –each dinner out, movie, concert, whatever all result in getting to take your hottie home at the end of the night. Young married life is pretty freakin’ great. International travel. An MBA. Spontaneous weekend getaways. Fancy meals at hot new restaurants. I look back on that stage fulfilled to have gotten so much time together, just as husband and wife.
Then comes baby in a baby carriage! #Blessed, but married life as you know it won’t be the same for at least 20+ years. I’ve talked about Fearless Mom before but just as a quick refresh, it’s a moms lecture series with small group breakouts that meets weekly on Wed. mornings. It’s a ministry of Lake Hills Church here in Austin and it’s been a place of comfort, learning, and camaraderie for me as a mom. I’ve absorbed so much parenting truth. Things like:
All. of. this. Seriously, I’ve loved it so much! If you’re not in Austin, you can follow along at home. Anyway, one of the lessons of the past couple sessions has been to set a date night and keep it regularly. –But it’s hard, y’all! Here are the reasons why we’ve never been able to keep a regular weekly date night:
But still, the notion of prioritizing your marriage during parenthood remains so important. At Fearless Mom, I’ve heard it put like this: Connect daily. Date weekly. Retreat annually. So, dating doesn’t need to happen at night, right? Here are some alternative date-night periods where we’ve carved in some couple-time:
Australian wines, date night ideas, Drop-off Childcare, eye lift, EYE-V Moisture Boost Hydrogel Patches, Hopes End, Nerium International, new beauty products, Parents Night Out, red wine, self-care, Toybrary Austin, treat yourself, under-eye patches
Treat yo’ self, Mama!
The Eyes Have It: EYE-V Moisture Boost Hydrogel Patches by Nerium InternationalTexas-based anti-aging skincare company Nerium International has just launched their newest product: EYE-V Moisture Boost Hydrogel Patches. These babies are an easy & indulgent way to hydrate, smooth, firm and brighten the under-eye area. They partnered with world-class Korean chemists and product designers to pair advanced hydrators like aloe vera leaf water, echinacea, lavender, and green tea. The convenient 20-minute patches feature a special ThermoReact technology that work with your own body temperature to create an instant “eye lift.” Pop in the refrigerator before use for an extra cooling effect.
A Taste of Something New: try a glass of Hopes EndHopes End is a wine inspired by the true story of thousands of 19th century free settlers who journeyed to start a better life, and instead arrived in dismal Port Misery, South Australia. The Angove Family were among them. Dr. William T. Angove, a young doctor, found his livelihood mixing elixirs, and soon, wine—the perfect antidote to adversity. Hopes End Red Blend 2015 is a wine that stays true to its origins while satisfying a palate that seeks the unexpected. The wine begins in the sunny, sandy loam over limestone soils of South Australia, and ends with intensely flavored, darkly intriguing wine. Carefully selected parcels of Shiraz, Grenache, Malbec and Petit Verdot were picked in the cool dawn at perfect ripeness. Each lot was assessed and unified by our winemaker to create a luscious, berry- driven profile that’s intriguing and indulgent. Find Hopes End soon at Kroger and Targets in Texas.
No Sitter? No Problem: Parents Night Out at Toybrary Austin
Parents, meet your built-in babysitting solution. Treat yourself to a night out — you deserve it! Sitters can get expensive and sometimes it’s hard to trust a new person alone at home with your child. Wanted to share a fun & different childcare option in case anyone is stuck without a babysitter on #datenight… Every Saturday, locally-owned & operated Toybrary Austin will watch your little one from 5:00-8:00 p.m. while you go participate in grown-up activities. Just bring snacks or dinner, a water bottle, diapers, a change of clothes, and a lovey if your child needs it. For children ages 1-5. Sign up: email@example.com or 512-765-4174.
They’ve just opened a plethora of presents under the tree and were drug to more holiday events than they can count. As much as we try to make them feel special and not forgotten after the Christmas chaos, winter birthdays aren’t the best. Everyone’s coming down from that yule-tide high and ready to just #NetflixandChill. After those packed schedules that come with the holiday season, people are beginning to settle back into their regular routine and at this point, are frankly partied-out.
Personally, my summer birthday was awesome: close enough to the end of the school year to keep in touch with friends on event details, yet everyone was already bored & eager to gather for something fun, and there were boundless ideas for celebrating in the summer sun…I vividly remember amazing birthdays spent at the wave pool, the water park, and more.But what to do when the dreary days of January & February have most of us ready to hit the fast forward button to Easter? My little one has an early January birthday and last year I kept it low-key for her first birthday celebration. Admittedly, that approach was due to me feeling like I was still getting my shit together has a new mom and couldn’t fathom adding party planning into the mix. So we went for something small and intimate, no guest list to manage, no decorations to fuss over. I have a little twinge of mom-guilt over it, but we ended up skipping the traditional 1st bday party in lieu of a morning of simply doing an activity she loved. We chose to spend a couple hours at Little Land Play Gym before a Tex-Mex lunch with my parents joining us. A true Texas babe, her first birthday dessert was an avocado tres leches cake from Dos Chivos.This year, I am kinda taking the opposite approach… Thankfully it is now in my capacity to take it up a few notches for her second birthday. We’re throwing our little one a Texas “2”-Step themed party. To kick things off, we are hosting local children’s music artist “Mr. Will” Dupuy for a live performance at our home. Y’all, he’s soooooo good: his kids songs sung with a Texas-country twang, laid back cowboy style, and jokes for the parents that go over the little one’s heads make for a kids concert that all attendees will enjoy. My daughter Alexandra has one of his branded t-shirts and whenever she sees it, she starts singing Wheels on the Bus…it’s super cute BUT…imagine how she’s going to flip her lid when she sees him live and in concert right from her living room!Lunch will be catered by Austin’s famous Franklin Barbecue. –Have y’all tried their brisket? Some swear it’s the absolute best in Texas. This Eastside joint is a favorite of President Obama, celebrities, and famous chefs. However, due to their 2-hour wait (like at least 2 hours standing outside in line, with no guarantee that there will be any left for you when it’s your turn to order), we’ve never tasted its deliciousness in the 5 years we’ve lived here. There is a workaround, though: Pre-Orders. Place your large catering order online in advance and walk right up to pick it up at the designated time your choose. –Score!
Now, I know random things like Cedar Fever, toddler tantrums (these have officially started for us!), and last-minute guest cancellations can possibly put a damper on the day, but I’m hoping we fondly remember her epic second birthday party. I’m unabashedly looking forward to a pretty fantastic morning of music and BBQ. However we choose to celebrate birthdays, wether it be small & intimate or over-the-top, I hope my little one grows up knowing how valued she is each and every day of the year.