Navigating the Wild World of Motherhood
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:
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.
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????
Have you ever wondered what’s it’s like to be HGTV’d? I can pretty much sum it up in one word, AWESOME. For the past five days, my family has been taking an exciting, unbelievable, unpredictable, loud, consuming and mind-boggling journey with HGTV as they redo our multiple areas in our home for the new show, HGTV’d. I can’t give away all of the juicy details, but I can give you a little sneak peek. First, a few FAQs…
How did we get on the show? We submitted a video just like everyone else. Go do it now! They’re casting in DC/Virginia, Miami and Chicago, people! Why did we get picked? Honestly, I have no idea. We’re totally nuts and fearless? Perhaps. The producers told me we were fun and open to wild ideas and our house had good “bones.” Are the homeowners totally in the dark about knowing who their designer is? Absolutely! We had no clue who our designer was until Tanika Ray opened the truck door.
It’s a totally once-in-a-lifetime type of surreal experience. The demolition was one of the wildest aspects. It’s pretty wild to have parts of your house torn apart when you know what’s going to happen. Imagine how crazy it is when you DON’T know what they’re going to tear down. I’m in awe of the entire team, because they are incredibly respectful of us and our home, not to mention how much thought and effort they put into each design idea. I encourage you to submit a video and see what happens. Trust me, it’s an experience you will never forget.
I’ll be dishing about it for the next few days, so stay tuned. Well, I gotta be sequestered. I’ve been kicked out and the big reveal is tomorrow!!!!
Stay tuned for Part Two! I’ll talk about our TOTALLY RAD designer and what it’s like to work with ridiculously talented and funny peeps.
What do you get when you combine alphabet pasta, 10 dogs, 10 excited kiddos, aliens that drink lemonade through their ears and vocabulary words? Well, a Martha Speaks viewing party, of course. Thanks to the fabulous folks at PBS, we had a “sneak peek” viewing party of two new summer episodes that will begin airing tomorrow, June 27th on PBS.
If you haven’t met Martha yet, this is a great opportunity to introduce your children to this clever and well-spoken canine. This week will feature new episodes of Martha enjoying outdoor activities like camping, canoeing and watching fireworks with her friends. We got to see Martha’s Slumber Party of the Weird and The Long Rotten Summer/The Case of the Shattered Vase. In addition to the entertaining stories and great vocabulary words, kids also learn why they shouldn’t watch scary movies right before going to bed. (A lesson I should revisit myself.) Look at those cuties playing with their new plush Martha pups!
Summer Fun Week:
Monday, June 27th – Martha’s Slumber Party of the Weird (2 parts)
Tuesday, June 28th – Martha puts Out the Lights (2 parts)
Wednesday, June 29th – Escape from Flea Island/ No Dogs Allowed
Thursday, June 30th – Martha in the Hold/Get Along, Little Doggies!
Friday, July1st – The Long Rotten Summer/The Case of the Shattered Vase
Click, click, click:
- Don’t forget to visit Martha Speaks online for terrific games. My son’s new favorite? Make The Band. It’s hilarious!
- Watch my son’s impromptu interview about why he loves Martha Speaks.
- Martha has gone mobile! You can download Martha Speaks Dog Party App.
Disclaimer: PBS did supply me with a DVD of the new episodes and 10 swag bags. My opinions are my own. If I didn’t personally love this talkative pup, I wouldn’t write about it. Promise.
If you give a mom a microphone, she’ll ask for a stage to go with it. When you give her the stage, she’ll ask if it makes her butt look big. Worrying about her big butt will make her change outfits, so you’ll need to get her a glass of wine to calm her nerves…
What happens when you throw 15 moms together and give them a microphone? Well, they talk your ears off about motherhood, of course. The good, the bad, the exhausted, the sedated. It’s a job rich in laughter, marinated in pee, sprinkled with sticky candy and sauteed in a mixture of smeared mascara, laundry detergent and breast milk. Yummy, right? Much like Gefilte fish, motherhood is a delicacy not intended for the faint of heart.
On April 30th, grab your hubby, your mom, your grandma, your girlfriends, your overweight cat, a box of Puffs and join us at a pre-Mother’s Day celebration, the “Listen To Your Mother Austin” show. In fact, you can read more about it in the Statesman’s Mama Drama blog.
All of the fab mamas, myself included, will read a short original essay about motherhood. After our first rehearsal, I was so amazed at each and every story. This is NOT a sappy, cliche, poetry reading involving tambourines, Birkenstocks, awkward pauses and weeping. The pieces are smart, sassy, creative, thought-provoking and highly entertaining – just like the moms who wrote them.
This year’s Austin cast includes: Kristin Armstrong, Kimberly Cockrill, Julie Coombes, Jenny Lawson, Cathy Hale (that’s me!), Kathryn Harrison, Diane LeBleu, Blythe Jewell, Krystin Crain Johnson, Esther Mizrachi Moritz, Elizabeth McGuire, Jennifer Newcomb Marine and Gigi Ross. Show producers Wendi Aarons and Jennifer Sutton will emcee and read at the event as well. (If you aren’t following @WendiAarons on Twitter, you should be beaten with wet diapers. She’s a freakin’ riot.)
“Listen to Your Mother Austin” will be performed April 30 at 1 p.m. at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, 1900 University Ave. Tickets are $14 and available online at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1468976749. Proceeds from the event (after costs are covered) will be donated to Any Baby Can.
Valentine’s Day may be over now, but you can still embrace that lovin’ feeling. And it may be as easy as sipping a glass of juice…
As a Genesis Today Ambassador, I get to try new products from Genesis Today. For Valentine’s Day, they sent me a little ‘Getting It On with Goji’ treat – Cranberry Goji Juice. I’m not a big juice fan, but it was surprisingly awesome. It tastes great and offers the perfect marriage of sweet & tart. What’s great about the combo of cranberries and goji berries is blatter & kidney health, mood & antioxidant support and a little libido boost.
It’s easy to have a frisky February. In fact, there are plenty of natural things that boost your libido:
- Goji berries
- Maca Root
- Dark chocolate
- $2,000 & a fab goody basket
Considering everything on the list, I’ll be choosing Goji berries over oysters any day! Of course, $2,000 sounds great too…
WIN IT! Want to win $2,000 for a romantic adventure and a wonderful goody basket? Enter the Genesis Today Lover’s Getaway. Just visit the Genesis Today Facebook Page for a chance to win a $2,000 cash prize and a gift basket filled with Goji goodies, steaks from Snake River Farms & champagne. Ooh la la!
1. – Like Genesis Today on Facebook
2. – Upload of photo of you enjoying Cranberry Goji juice
3. – Tell Genesis Today what you love the most about your partner
Last day to enter is 2/21/11