Photo by Michael Gardner

Walk Now for Autism Speaks Austin: Every Step Counts!

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 for sharing his wonderful photos with me. His photos are watermarked. The rest are mine. Not as good, but they do have heart!

Bachelorette image

MommyQ & MK Events Present The Bachelorette Finale Watch Party to Benefit Autism Speaks: A Night of Romance, Roses & Reality TV with 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, 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, ( 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.
~Vitamin Water
~Don Rogers Photography
~Dream Water
~360 Tans
~Creative People Marketing & Design
~Hill Country Galleria
~Bee Waxed

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 or for $50 at the door.  There are a limited number of tickets and we anticipate them selling out quickly.

Liz Fields Bridal Runway

The 1st Annual Military Gala by Liz Fields: Bridal Gowns Revealed & Dreams Come True for Lucky Couples in Military Families

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…

Listen To Your Mother Austin

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 Proceeds from the event (after costs are covered) will be donated to Any Baby Can.


Let Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwen Stefani, Tori Spelling & Molly Sims Decorate Your Tree

Sarah Jessica Parker ornament

Every so often, something special comes along and it’s just too fun not to share. That’s how I feel about the Heart Designer Ornaments at HSN. Yes, HSN.  Have you ever gotten stuck on the HSN channel? I got sucked in one night and watched it for about 2 hours. It was quite mesmerizing. Anyway, they launched a new collection of Christmas ornaments featuring designs from celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwen Stefani, Tori Spelling, Molly Sims, Sly Stallone and many more. The above is Sarah Jessica Parker’s colorful creation. So Carrie Bradshaw!

Now you can shop and actually feel good about it, because 100 percent of the profits, no less than 30 percent of the purchase price of each ornament, will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and its on-going efforts to finding cures and save children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. As a parent, you’ve gotta feel good about that.

Here are a few of my fave ornaments. Which one do you like the best?

Gwen Stefani continues her Japanese-inspired quirkiness.

Tori Spelling HSN ornament

Tori Spelling’s design is clean and sophisticated, yet still festive.

Molly Sims ornament

Molly Sims opts for gold bling with a pop of color.

Sly Stallone ornament Jennifer Flavin

Sly Stallone got some creative help from his wife, Jennifer Flavin.

Feed Your Inner Foodie at Star Light, Star Night Benefit

Tired of the same food experience charity event after charity event?  Chafing dishes slowly drying out the rubbery gray chicken breast. Another boring crudites platter with sad carrots, and boring canapes. Yawn.

Hosteria Verde Supper Club is having a party this Saturday, May 8th (in Austin, TX) where you and your inner foodie can be excited. Plus, you’ll be giving back to a wonderful organization, Blue Lapis Light. Check out Star Light, Star Night where Hosteria Verde will be dishing up food so delectable and delicious, you’ll satisfy every craving.

From the innovative Raw Bar featuring fresh onsite shucked oyster with your choice of a mignonette or fresh horseradish granita, to pork belly sliders complimented by pickled onions, everyone will find something to feast on.

The menu for the evening features:
– Raw gulf oyster served on the half-shell with champagne Granita
– Avocado mousse with crab/tomato salad
– Cured salmon rye Crostini with Crème Fraiche and apple/Jicama salad
– Pork belly sliders with greens and pickled onion
– Chicken/ peach skewers with Serrano vinaigrette

Hungry yet? While your tummy is feeling happy & full, you can shop the beautiful collection of Stella McCartney lingerie from Underwear boutique and simply sophisticated jewelry from Limbo Jewelry Design. All proceeds from Star Light, Star Night will benefit Blue Lapis Light. Tickets are $45 per person.

Click here to read more and buy tickets!

Star Light, Star Night: A Night of Giving Under the Stars

Yes, that’s my little logo. MommyQ is sponsoring this event with a bunch of other great businesses and I can assure it will be AWESOME. We scouted out the location and discussed details today. I was excited about it before, but I’m even more excited about it now. Details about the scrumptious menu will be coming soon.  Also, if you’re a mom here in Austin and you haven’t been to Underwear yet, shame on you! This shop is a little slice of heaven!

Go ahead and buy your tickets to Star Light, Star Night today before they’re gone.