Lake Travis Lifestyle Post: 6 Best Patios in Lake Travis

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Iguana_ Viewv2Warm weather is finally on the way and Lake Travis restaurants are gearing up for lazy spring afternoons outdoors where you can enjoy the beautiful Hill Country and perhaps sip a sweet margarita (or two!). One of the great things about living in the Lake Travis area is we have lots of beautiful sprawling spaces, so we also have lots of wonderful sprawling patios where you can experience the happiest of Happy Hours.

We’ve picked six of our favorite spots for patio Happy Hours and dining. They all have plenty of space, amazing views, tasty food and refreshing beverages. And they’re preparing for your business. Angel’s Ice House is currently repainting their fun red picnic tables and Iguana Grill has a sign posted that says they survived the winter, so bring on summer fun!

Check out the complete post on Lake Travis Lifestyle!

My Take on Kourtney Kardashian’s Mommy Blog Featured on HLNTV.com


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…

Get the full scoop on HLNTV.com

 

Image: HLNTV.com

Demand for Quality Real Estate in 78704 Area Grows: 78704…not just a zip code

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.”

Sola City Homes

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.

The Sycamore

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.

Breast Milk Baby Doll: Let’s Hear Dad’s Perspective

breastfeeding doll MommyQ

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?

Attention Austinites: Listen To Your Mother…Or Else…

Listen to Your Mother Austin

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.