Navigating the Wild World of Motherhood
No matter how much you boycott the Kardashians or how many petitions you sign, they just keep coming. And not only that, reproducing at a quick pace to ensure their continued world domination, um, I mean survival. On Wednesday, the eldest Kardashian, Kourtney, announced that she and Scott Disick — America’s favorite Vegas-loving, hair-slicking, baby daddy — are expecting bambino numero dos.
Wait, what’s that noise you’re hearing? That would be the sound of “cha-ching” from Burberry, because they get to dress another designer-clad munchkin. Score!
Isn’t it interesting how well-timed her baby news is? It’s almost like her new pregnancy is part of the grand Kardashian marketing plan since she just launched a mom focused web series called Kourtney’s Mommy Blog at E! Online (the very company people have been petitioning to drop Kardashian nonsense.) I guess you aren’t a legit mommy unless you have multiple kids…
We hosted an amazing party in October to celebrate our HGTV episode and had a blast showing off our awesomely renovated rooms to our friends and neighbors.
We had a delish gorgeous cake from Rise and Shine Bakery, food from Mandola’s, beer from Thirsty Planet and to make the par-tay complete and enhance the uniqueness of the experience, we served a variety of Gilgal wines from the Golan Heights Winery – the Vinexpo grand medalla de oro 2011 – Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot a la Fleischer Wines. Needless to say, every sip was savored. If you haven’t heard about Fleischer Wines, let me enlighten you.
Fleischer Wines was founded in 2000, by the Fleischer brothers of Houston, who are originally from Santiago Chile. Roberto and Miguel set high goals for themselves when it came to starting their business: excellence in wine making, consistency from year to year, appropriate quality-price relationship, and a level of service that would allow them continuous provision of fine wines to quality restaurants and liquor stores.
Fleischer Wines imports and distributes wines from many different regions in Europe, Middle East and the Americas. They offer an amazing selection of Israeli and kosher wines, both mevushal an
d non-mevushal. As any Jewish gal knows, this ain’t no Manachevitz! The Gilgal wines I mentioned above are exclusive to Spec’s and the Gilgal Cabernet is their top seller, all sold under $20.00. Specs sells it for $18.99.
Fleicher Wines is an award-winning name you should know. (Yes, I’m talking to you my wine snob friends.) It was a fantastic night and so much fun to relive the excitement of being HGTV’d. Hugs and kisses to Thom FIlicia and the HGTV crew for giving us the opportunity to be part of such a wild ride.
Read more about my HGTV’d experience here:
Before my husband and I had kids, we were cool. We ran together daily on Town Lake, we went antiquing on South Congress, we drank at local dives and ate buttermilk pancakes at Magnolia Café every weekend. We were hipsters. Our motto was if you don’t live in the 78704, you’re utterly lame and you don’t really qualify as being an Austinite. When we renovated our home on South 2nd Street back in 2003, we purposely designed it to look weird. We didn’t care. It was South Austin. The weirder, the better.
One marriage and two kids later, I find myself puttering around Lakeway in our champagne-colored Tahoe like 98% of the suburbanites out here, rarely going downtown, because it’s “just too far away.” Oh how I miss being cool. And being in the “04.”
Did you know the Austin rental market nears 95 percent occupancy? South Austin is beyond cool now and new developments like Sola City Homes and The Sycamore are delivering unprecedented value in one of the most coveted neighborhoods in town – the “golden rectangle.” I toured these two properties and was shocked that there was such unbelievable value. The developers bought band foreclosures at a discount and then dropped the market price to sell the properties fast.
These new Austin real estate gems allow buyers to live the legendary Austin lifestyle at a wholesale price of 25 percent below market value, and a mere 3 miles from downtown in 78704. Buyers can realize equity when they move in as the houses are being appraised at $81K-82K higher than the offering. What truly sets these properties apart is that regardless of the overall market conditions of the last few years, their customers are buying because they are shown real value. With these new properties, they’re able to pass on the savings to the public, and buyers immediately recognize the value. How sweet is that?
Central Austin properties like Sola and Sycamore are spacious and comfortable and close to everything that people love about central Austin living – music, history, culture, food and entertainment. In fact, some of the best restaurants and music venues are located just blocks from these communities.
Sola City Homes are newly constructed town home-style condos located off of South Lamar, and boast sustainable architecture and simple designs. These unique offerings allow home buyers to compare the $140 per square foot to the $200+ per square foot 78704 area average pricing. Residents also appreciate their spacious 2,000+ SF floor plans and 10 ft. ceilings
The Sycamore is a private, gated community in South Austin near South Congress that boasts detached, contemporary town homes. The Sycamore features energy-efficient and technological amenities mixed with bold designs, a 2-car garage and private yards. The Sycamore features energy-efficient and technological amenities mixed with bold designs, 2-car garage and private yards. Units are 1,500 sq. ft., 2 Bedrooms, 2.5 baths with a study and garage, starting at $240,000.
Barton Creek Capital has sold 140 homes with the average days on market to contract of less than 3 days, and they are the largest, and arguably the only, wholesaler of condos in the desirable 78704 zip code. These new developments have opened up new options for living near downtown with pricing that beats rental rates by wholesaling condos and town homes and returning real value.
This year, the Greater Austin Walk Now for Autism Speaks attracted over 3,356 walkers and raised over $139,000 for autism. My family joined the fun and together with Michele Utt from MK Events, MommyQ’s team raised over $3,000.
It was surreal to see all of the families like ours unite for such an important organization. Autism Speaks did a wonderful job organizing the event and the sponsors did a great job making the day extra-special. My boys loved the Home Depot workshop where they got to swing hammers to create wooden keepsakes crafts like toolboxes, boats and cars. My little guy managed to sweet talk a lady working the Home Depot area into giving him the demo Joey Logano car with the pristine paint job. Go figure, right?
I’m already looking forward to next year and brainstorming themes for our big pre-event cocktail party. Drop me a line if you have ideas. A special thanks to Michael Gardner Photography at www.Homeandgardners.com for sharing his wonderful photos with me. His photos are watermarked. The rest are mine. Not as good, but they do have heart!
When the fabulous Michele Utt of MK Events asked me to partner with her to throw The Bachelorette Watch Party, I was intrigued. When she mentioned this amazing party would also serve as a fundraiser, I was impressed. When we decided it would benefit Autism Speaks, I was ecstatic. My happy heart (in combination with my inner party diva) is thrilled to announce The Bachelorette Season Finale Watch Party, August 1st from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Proceeds will benefit Walk Now for Autism Speaks in Austin. Tickets to the event can be purchased online for $40.
This event is shaping up to be one of the best Girls Night Out parties ever held in the great state of Texas. The swag bags and silent auctions items alone are making us swoon. Plus, we’re adding new ones even as I type. Take a look at ALL of the AMAZING people & companies who are involved. They deserve a mega-shout out! Woo Hoo.
Why Autism Speaks? My readers know autism is close to my heart, because my oldest son was diagnosed when he was three. The biggest thing we need as parents and as a society is access to critical data about autism and more resources for families struggling to understand it. All of these autistic youngsters will be adults one day. Who will support them? How will they lend their special vision, talents and skills to society? They need to thrive! Lastly, let’s figure out what causes it. There are too many unsubstantiated theories. We need answers!
Okay, stepping off of my platform now…
- A special thank you goes out to our sponsors: Baldwin Beauty School (thank you, Wendi!), Premier Data Com and Warren Kull with www.yourlaketravishome.com, for supporting our event and compassion towards the cause.
- Enjoy complimentary appetizers by Mandola’s, wine by Flat Creek Winery, cocktails courtesy of Treaty Oak Rum and Graham’s Texas Tea and dessert a la Michelle’s Patisserie. Bouquets of red roses fill the room courtesy of Flowers By Nancy.
- Chef Paul Peterson, (www.chefpaulpetersen.com) who was featured on TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters and is currently the executive chef at Austin’s favorite Tex-Mex Restaurant, Vivo. will be firing up the kitchen and serving some tasty eats!
Swag Bags valued at over $700 and are yours to take home!
Swag Bags Sponsored By:
~Oak Haven Massage
~BASE Personal Training
~Kendra Scott Jewelry
~Shandi Nichelle Co.
~Don Rogers Photography
~Creative People Marketing & Design
~Hill Country Galleria
Silent Auction Items Include:
~Zoom Whitening by Lakeway Smiles
~$300 in Kendra Scott Jewelry
~Gift Certificate to Spa at the Lake
~Spray Tan by 360 Tans
~Gift Basket by Blue Avocado
Guests can bring swimsuits to watch Ashley make her final decision, because this estate has a fabulous pool with a panoramic Hill Country view. (See, we think of everything.) The address will be given after you have purchased your ticket. Tickets may be purchased for only $40 at www.mkeventsaustin.com or for $50 at the door. There are a limited number of tickets and we anticipate them selling out quickly.
If you haven’t heard the buzz about this new doll, I’ll break it down for you. Breast Milk Baby is a doll that allows little girls to simulate the act of breast-feeding. And as you can imagine, this toy is creating waves of controversy as it will soon be available in the US. So what’s the big deal about another doll? I mean, we already have plenty of dollies that eat, pee and poop. Well, it could be the vest with sensors to trigger nursing or the suckling sounds or the fact that little girl can loosely experience latching. Pick one. Here’s a recent article from ABC News.
Today, I spoke with FOX 7 about it and shared my thoughts as not only a mother, but a mother who happens to know a lot about baby products. I even posted something on Facebook about my impending interview, which created its own little swirl of debate. This is a controversial doll for many reasons. Instead of exploring the obvious, I thought it was far more interesting to hear reactions about the doll from dads. After all, dads shower their daughters with gifts. Will they buy Breast Milk Baby for their daughters? One dad added his two cents to my lively Facebook discussion by posting the following:
“Don’t want to drag another ‘party’ to the discussion unknowingly… But having had this very discussion today…. It’s not about sexuality or nourishment as much as it seems to be about the publicity of it. Should be private and between a mom and child, not public and out for display for everyone to share. I think public display kind of sensationalizes it. Back to the doll – is that the right WAY to send the message or teach our children? My girls will never own one of these, but you can bet they will know everything they want and need to about breastfeeding and discretion.”
Bravo, daddy! I think he illustrates great points and let’s face it, dads are an integral part of parenting, so why dismiss their feelings? Many dads seem to be annoyed by the doll, because they feel young girls don’t need to experience something reserved for grown women. It’s simply too much, too soon. Other dads think there is a shady sexual undertone that just makes them feel slightly ill. Loving daddies might not want to imagine their sweet little girls as mothers quite yet, especially with all of the valid fears of teenage pregnancies.
Weigh in, dads! What do you think about this doll? Will you buy it for your daughter?
Hold onto your wedding veils, San Antonio! In a few weeks, one of the most exciting launch events in the bridal industry will spring to life on-stage and on-camera. The best part is yours truly gets to witness this stylish and heartwarming soiree unfold behind-the-scenes.
Evening and bridal gown designer Liz Fields, who is based in New York, is hosting her 1st Annual Military Gala, a launch extravaganza that will kick off an effort across the country to give away gowns to women within the military family. The gala will be the perfect setting for Liz to showcase her new collection of bridal gowns, destination wedding dresses, special occasions niche designs and evening gowns. But, part of her dream to make military ladies’ dreams come true too.
At the heart of the gala will be military couples which run the spectrum of boyfriend-girlfriend, engaged, and married couples. They will celebrated and treated to a memorable evening of food, drinks, dancing, entertainment, prizes, giveaways and unbelievable surprises. Liz Fields is happy to partner with amazing sponsors like Lacy Pool, the stylist and buyer for Serendipity Bridal, who has teamed up with Kendra Scott and Toni Federici to create the looks. Additional sponsors include the Army Wife Network and Silver Eagle Distributors/Anheuser Busch.
I can’t let the cat out of the bag, but I’ve heard an American Idol Finalist will be performing and my beautiful friend Holly Mills-Gardner, a former Miss Texas, will be emceeing the fashion show and festivities as they unfold. Plus, the entire show will be televised on CMT in the Fall. How fun is that?!
Stay tuned for more details from yours truly, MommyQ…
The dust has been vacuumed, the dumpster has been removed, our POD has left the driveway and all of our new pals at HGTV’d have moved on to their next project. I hope it involves a few naps, because those folks are worn out! The BIG REVEAL was this past Sunday and my head is still spinning! I keep walking into my ultra-fabulous, posh, functional and sparkling, new rooms and wonder, “Whose house is this?!? It certainly isn’t mine!” I’m still not touching anything out of fear that I may mess up something. Although the fresh flowers are starting to wilt, so I’m going to have to replace them. Even the flowers are cool. I mean, really? These folks are goooood.
I’d like to give a special thanks to four local companies who helped us survive and enjoy this surreal experience:
#1 – Austin Paperhanging for the stunning, precise and perfect job they did hanging all of our new wallpaper. You won’t fully understand until you see the room in person. It’s a HUGE area and DIFFICULT job and they did SUPERBLY. It’s mind boggling.
#2 - Aero Designed Systems who installed our brand new AC unit. Yep, our AC broke right in the middle of filming our episode of HGTV’d. It was about 103 degrees outside too. Aero worked quickly and the customer service was outstanding.
#3 – Let Us Do The Cooking was possibly the highlight of each day. This is a catering company located in Killeen, TX, and they brought us the most mouth-watering, fantastic food I’ve ever eaten. Yes, ever. (Sorry, mom!) The corn casserole was stupendous, the green bean casserole was heavenly, the desserts were insane, the entrees were perfection, etc.
#4 – Central Market made the most beautiful & tasty HGTV’d cake. I had to print the logo from the hotel’s black & white printer, but Central Market was like, we’re so awesome, we’re going to do it with all of the red shades anyway! Not only was it pretty, but also yummy! We walked around with red lips all day and didn’t even care.
I’m not able to post pics of the finished rooms, but tune in for my next post when I finally reveal our celebrity designer.
What do you think? Do you have the guts to be HGTV’d????